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Confusion in the older patient: a diagnostic approach

Confusion is a common problem in persons over 65 years of age. The decline in normal cognitive ability may be acute, or it may be chronic and progressive. In older persons, confusion is usually a symptom of delirium or dementia, although it may be due to major depression or psychosis. 

Introduction Epidemiology Examination Medical treatment Conclusion References Introduction Managing confusion is challenging because of several factors that are prevalent in the elderly. These include living alone, lack of detailed history on presentation, cognitive impairment, complex comorbidities, several constraints on proper evaluation and assessment and it requires team work for complete assessment and management. Biological ageing is characterised by the progressive loss of adaptability, with decreasing functional reserves and diminution of the ability to recover from a physiological injury. At the same time, ageing can lead to a multiplicity of diseases and to polypharmacy, along with changes in the patient’s physical


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