15.outline.abnormal.lsu.f.09 - CHAPTER FIFTEEN COGNITIVE...

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CHAPTER FIFTEEN COGNITIVE DISORDERS I. Delirium A. Delirium – impaired consciousness and cognition that develops somewhat rapidly over the course of several hours or days. - Appear confused, disoriented, out of touch with their surrounding, have difficulty focusing and sustaining attention, and show marked impairments in memory and language. B. About 10% to 30% of persons in acute care facilities, such as emergency rooms, are believed to suffer from delirium. It is most prevalent among older adults, people undergoing medical procedures, cancer patients, and persons with AIDS. - 44% of persons with dementia suffer at least one episode of delirium. - Delirium subsides quickly, with full recovery expected within several weeks. - However, some continue to have problems and may lapse into coma or die. C. Medical conditions linked with delirium include drug intoxication, poisons, withdrawal from drugs (e.g., alcohol, sedative, hypnotic, or anxiolytic drugs), infections, head injury, and several forms of brain trauma. The DSM-IV-TR recognizes several causes of delirium among its subtypes. 1. Delirium due to a general medical condition – disturbance of consciousness and a change in cognitive abilities (e.g., language, memory) occurring over a short period of time; resulting from a general medical condition 2. Other subtypes include substance-induced delirium , delirium due to multiple etiologies , and delirium not otherwise specified . The latter two categories indicate the complex nature of delirium. 3. Delirium is common in the elderly as a consequence of improper use of medications. Can also be experienced by children who have high fevers or who are taking certain kinds of medications. 4. Age itself is an important factor in delirium, with older adults being more susceptible to developing delirium as a result of mild infection or medication changes compared to younger persons. 5. Sleep deprivation, immobility, and excessive stress can also cause delirium
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D. Treatment for delirium usually involves attention to precipitating medical problems. For example, delirium brought on by withdrawal from alcohol or other drugs is usually treated with benzodiazepines. 1. The antipsychotic drug Haloperidol is prescribed for persons in acute delirium. 2. Psychosocial interventions include reassurance in dealing with agitation, anxiety, and hallucinations related to delirium. Aimed at helping person cope and manage disruptions caused by delirium until medical causes are identified and addressed. E. Prevention is most successful in persons who are susceptible to delirium, and may include efforts geared toward proper medical care for illnesses and therapeutic drug monitoring. II.
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2010 for the course PSYC 3082 taught by Professor Knapp during the Spring '09 term at LSU.

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15.outline.abnormal.lsu.f.09 - CHAPTER FIFTEEN COGNITIVE...

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