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What Is Delirium And How Is It Diagnosed
Published by: Gaurav Gautam (16) on Thu, Apr 19, 2018  |  Word Count: 490  |  Comments ( 0)  l  Rating
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Overview


Delirium is a neurological condition that is characterized by rapidly changing mental states which cause the affected person to appear confused, disoriented and to have difficulties maintaining focus, thinking clearly, and remembering recent events. Neurologists in Gurgaon (some of the best neurologists in India), say that delirium can be triggered due to a serious illness such as an infection, certain medications or drug withdrawal or intoxication. People over 65 are more likely to develop delirium.


Delirium is not to be confused with dementia as it develops suddenly over hours to days, rather than months to years like dementia. Also delirium is temporary, and goes away once the underlying cause is resolved.


How Is Delirium Diagnosed?


Delirium is a little difficult to diagnose because changes in behaviour may be attributed to different causes, like the person’s age, history of dementia, or any other mental disorders they might have or have had. Our discussion with the leading neuro physicians in Gurgaon, who work at one of the best neurology hospital in Delhi NCR, led us to gather that the following diagnostic tests are used to evaluate delirium:



  • Laboratory testing: Blood and/or urine tests may be performed to determine the cause of the person's delirium. A chest x-ray is often required to exclude pneumonia.


  • Brain imaging tests: If the cause of a person's delirium cannot be determined based upon the history, physical examination, and laboratory testing, a computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan of the head may be recommended. This test can help to determine if an abnormal growth, bleeding, infection, or inflammation is present in the brain.


  • Lumbar puncture: During a lumbar puncture, or spinal tap, a clinician uses a needle to remove a sample of spinal fluid from the area around the spinal cord in the low back. Several tests are done on the fluid to determine if an infection (such as meningitis or encephalitis) could be causing delirium, and if so, which antibiotic treatment is best. Lumbar puncture is not recommended for every person with delirium. It may be performed only if other tests are unable to determine the cause.


  • EEG testing: Electroencephalography (EEG) measures the electrical activity in the brain. It may be performed in a person with delirium to search for abnormal electrical activity that is commonly associated with seizures and epilepsy. It is not recommended for all people with delirium, but it may be performed if other tests are unable to determine the cause.

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