Chapter 36 - Delirium superimposed on dementia: a clinical challenge from diagnosis to treatment

Morandi, A. and Pozzi, Christian and Grossi, E. and Bellelli, G. (2020) Chapter 36 - Delirium superimposed on dementia: a clinical challenge from diagnosis to treatment. In: Martin, Colin R. and Preedy, Victor R., (eds.) Genetics, Neurology, Behavior, and Diet in Dementia. Academic Press, pp. 569-581. ISBN 978-0-12-815868-5

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Abstract

Delirium is an acute brain dysfunction and when it occurs in the context of dementia is named delirium superimposed on dementia (DSD). Dementia itself is an important risk factor for delirium, and delirium is a known risk factor for newly developed dementia or worsening of dementia. DSD is associated with adverse clinical outcomes including worsening of functional status, higher mortality rates, and higher health care costs. Delirium often is under recognized, and dementia is an important risk factor for under recognition. The diagnosis of DSD especially in the advanced stages of dementia is challenging, and clinicians using validated tools for delirium assessment can use additional evaluations, including, for instance, recognized changes in the motor performances. Finally, it is now well known that delirium can be prevented using multicomponent interventions carried out by a multidisciplinary team targeting predisposing and precipitating risk factors for delirium.

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