Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Delirium Presentation Predicts Mortality, Study Finds

Date:
July 7, 2009
Source:
Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research
Summary:
The way certain patients present in the post-acute hospital setting with delirium, a common, preventable but life-threatening acute confusional state, predicts mortality, according to a new study. Patients with severe, hypoactive delirium, characterized by slowing or lack of movement and unresponsiveness, have the worst six-month survival rate of any class of the disease. Those with mild, hypoactive delirium have a significantly higher likelihood of dying than patients with other, milder symptoms.

The way certain patients present in the post-acute hospital setting with delirium, a common, preventable but life-threatening acute confusional state, predicts mortality, according to a study conducted by the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife.

Patients with severe, hypoactive delirium, characterized by slowing or lack of movement and unresponsiveness, have the worst six-month survival rate of any class of the disease. Those with mild, hypoactive delirium have a significantly higher likelihood of dying than patients with other, milder symptoms.

"The association of the delirium classes on mortality depends on the presence or absence of dementia," says lead author Frances Yang, Ph.D., an assistant scientist at the Institute for Aging Research and an instructor in psychiatry at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. "Among patients who did not have dementia, it was delirium severity rather than motoric subtype that was associated with higher risk of mortality at six months."

The study, published in the May/June issue of the journal Psychosomatics, is the first to link characteristics of delirium, called subtypes, with disease severity. The four subtypes of delirium are normal, hypoactive, hyperactive (symptoms range from mild restlessness to constant movement and agitation) and mixed, which combines both hypo- and hyperactive elements.

Using two standard assessment tools, researchers at the Institute's Aging Brain Center examined whether the classic psychomotor subtypes of delirium are reflected by delirium severity. In addition, they sought to determine if the subtypes were able to predict mortality.

Dr. Yang's co-author, Edward Marcantonio, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, and colleagues screened more than 4,000 patients at eight Boston-area skilled nursing facilities using the Confusion Assessment Method and the Memorial Delirium Assessment Scale, two standard tools to detect delirium. More than 400 of these patients were found to have delirium and were followed over six months.

Delirium is an acute and relatively sudden—over hours or days—decline in attention, perception and cognition. It is generally caused by severe physical illness, often in the elderly, or any process that interferes with the normal metabolism and function of the brain. An estimated 14 percent to 24 percent of patients admitted to the hospital suffer from episodes of delirium. A recent study by Aging Brain Center investigators found that delirium rapidly accelerates memory decline in Alzheimer's disease patients.

"Our data reinforce the need to systematically assess patients for delirium at post-acute care admission, while considering dementia status," says Dr. Yang. "The findings demonstrate the importance of examining psychomotor subtype and the severity of delirium in predicting mortality."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research. "Delirium Presentation Predicts Mortality, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706161310.htm>.
Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research. (2009, July 7). Delirium Presentation Predicts Mortality, Study Finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706161310.htm
Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research. "Delirium Presentation Predicts Mortality, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090706161310.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Study On Artists' Brain Shows They're 'Structurally Unique'

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) The brains of artists aren't really left-brain or right-brain, but rather have extra neural matter in visual and motor control areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

Are School Dress Codes Too Strict?

AP (Apr. 16, 2014) Pushing the limits on style and self-expression is a rite of passage for teens and even younger kids. How far should schools go with their dress codes? The courts have sided with schools in an era when school safety is paramount. (April 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins