Delirium can accelerate dementia process
London, Jan 21 (IANS) When people start becoming delirious, it may have a long-lasting impact on their brains, accelerating the dementia process among them, a new study has found.
A research conducted in the University College London and the University of Cambridge found that episodes of delirium in people who are not known to have dementia, might also reveal dementia at its earliest stages.
“If delirium is causing brain injury in the short and long-term, then we must increase our efforts to diagnose, prevent and treat delirium. Ultimately, targeting delirium could be a chance to delay or reduce dementia,” said Daniel Davis from the University of Cambridge.
The study noted that while both delirium and dementia are important factors in cognitive decline among the elderly, delirium is preventable and treatable through dedicated geriatric care.
“Unfortunately, most delirium goes unrecognised. In busy hospitals, a sudden change in confusion is not noticed by hospital staff. Patients can be transferred several times and staff often switch over — it requires everyone to ‘think delirium’ and identify that a patient’s brain function has changed,” Davis noted in a paper published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry.