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Is delirium is a sign of a medication-related problem (MRP) in the elderly?

Sarah N. Mourra, MD
Neurology
Delirium is a syndrome that doctors typically identify with four key symptoms in the elderly who have medication-related problems (MRPs). The following are those key symptoms:
  • inattention or difficulty focusing, being distracted and having trouble focusing while having a conversation
  • difficulty with alertness, falling asleep in the middle of a conversation
  • rapid onset of symptoms, over hours or days
  • thought processes that are really disorganized
You may be thinking, “How can I tell if my elder or the person I’m caring for has an underlying dementia?” Individuals with dementia often will not manifest such a sudden change, and also they often will not have difficulty focusing or paying attention to what you’re saying even though they are cognitively impaired.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.