Dementia, Delirium, and Coma

  • Frank S. Celestino


Alterations in mental status ranging from mild forgetfulness and confusion to full-blown delirium and coma are common clinical problems in primary care. Studies1–3 have shown that 15% to 30% of hospitalized elderly patients experience delirium, and more than 40% of individuals over age 90 suffer from dementing illness. The enlarging elderly population combined with the aging brain’s exquisite vulnerability to changes in physiologic milieu accounts for this formidable prevalence of patients with disturbed cognitive (cerebral) function. This chapter addresses the clinical approach to the syndromes of dementia, delirium, and coma. Because the underlying causes of these syndromes are myriad and the clinical presentations so varied, physicians are faced with an imposing diagnostic challenge that requires a systematic and disciplined approach.


Single Photon Emission Compute Tomography Subdural Empyema Chronic Meningitis Pupillary Light Response Reversible Dementia 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1994

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  • Frank S. Celestino

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