Other disorders

Anxiety states in elderly patients are unlikely to be mistaken for delirium, unless they are particularly severe. Similarly, paranoid states and schizophrenia rarely lead to diagnostic difficulty, although it should be noted that patients with these disorders are at an increased risk of developing delirium, either through self-neglect, or the effects of neuroleptic and anticholinergic medications. A number of other rare conditions in which cognitive, perceptual, affective, and behavioural disturbances occur, such as amnesic syndromes, epilepsia partialis continua, twilight states, the Charles Bonnet syndrome, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, and catatonia, may also resemble delirium. If the history and clinical examination are inconclusive, EEG may be helpful in making the diagnosis.

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