Delirium in the elderly

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Delirium in this population, alone or superimposed on dementia, is described in Chapter8.5.1. The elderly are considerably more susceptible than younger adults. They may become delirious due to otherwise minor physical problems such as constipation or urinary tract infection, or to combinations thereof. Prescription of multiple medicines (including psychotropics, especially hypnotics), dehydration, and chronic medical conditions are frequently contributing factors. Those with pre-existing dementia are especially vulnerable to developing delirium; indeed, an episode of delirium is frequently the first presentation of patients with dementia to medical services.

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