Confusion - Overview
Disorientation; Thinking - unclear; Thoughts - cloudy
Definition of Confusion:
Confusion is the inability to think with your usual speed or clarity, including feeling disoriented and having difficulty paying attention, remembering, and making decisions.
See also: Dementia, for more information about chronic or long-term confusion.
Confusion may come on quickly or slowly over time, depending on the cause. Many times, confusion is temporary. Other times it is permanent and not curable. It may be associated with delirium or dementia.
Confusion is more common in the elderly, and often occurs during a hospital stay.
Some confused people may have strange or unusual behavior or may act aggressively.
- Reviewed last on: 2/6/2010
- David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Luc Jasmin, MD, PhD, Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, and Department of Anatomy at UCSF, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
Inouye SK. Delirium and other mental status problems in the older patient. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier. 2007: chap 26.
Knopman DS. Alzheimer's disease and other dementias. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier. 2007: chap 425.
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