Delirium  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Delirium is a medical term used to describe an acute and relatively sudden (developing over hours to days) decline in attention-focus, perception, and cognition. It is commonly associated with a disturbance of consciousness (eg, reduced clarity of awareness of the environment). The change in cognition (memory deficit, disorientation, language disturbance) or the development of a perceptual disturbance, must be one that is not better accounted for by a preexisting, established, or evolving dementia. Usually the rapidly fluctuating time course of delirium is used to help in the latter distinction.

Because it represents a change in cognitive function, the diagnosis cannot be made without knowledge of the affected person's baseline level of cognitive function.

Without careful assessment, delirium can easily be confused with a number of psychiatric disorders because many of the signs and symptoms are conditions present in dementia, depression, and psychosis.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Delirium" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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