Concept

Delirium

Summary
Delirium (formerly acute confusional state, an ambiguous term that is now discouraged) is a specific state of acute confusion attributable to the direct physiological consequence of a medical condition, effects of a psychoactive substance, or multiple causes, which usually develops over the course of hours to days. As a syndrome, delirium presents with disturbances in attention, awareness, and higher-order cognition. People with delirium may experience other neuropsychiatric disturbances, including changes in psychomotor activity (e.g. hyperactive, hypoactive, or mixed level of activity), disrupted sleep-wake cycle, emotional disturbances, and perceptual disturbances (e.g. hallucinations and delusions), although these features are not required for diagnosis. Diagnostically, delirium encompasses both the syndrome of acute confusion and its underlying organic process known as an acute encephalopathy. The cause of delirium may be either a
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