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TRANSITORY MENTAL CONFUSION AND DELIRIUM IN OLD AGE

TRANSITORY MENTAL CONFUSION AND DELIRIUM IN OLD AGE We are all prone to fear that death or dementia may immediately follow any acute illness accompanied by mental symptoms in an old person and to regard all such cases as either the direct result of a sudden, incurable cerebral lesion or as the beginning of a senile dementia brought about by wide-spread and serious arteriosclerosis. We tend to look on these acute cases with the same apprehension with which we regard slowly on-coming dementia. We are the more inclined to view them gravely because the medical literature o n the disease of old age relates almost wholly to rapidly fatal or at least permanently irremediable ailment, and therefore we unconsciously—or subconsciously, to use the more fashionable work—form the belief that all mental disturbances in the aged are but forerunners of incurable illness, if not of speedy death. In a sense this belief is true. Even acute attacks that are http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

TRANSITORY MENTAL CONFUSION AND DELIRIUM IN OLD AGE

JAMA , Volume LVII (27) – Dec 30, 1911

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1911 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.1911.04260120307001
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

We are all prone to fear that death or dementia may immediately follow any acute illness accompanied by mental symptoms in an old person and to regard all such cases as either the direct result of a sudden, incurable cerebral lesion or as the beginning of a senile dementia brought about by wide-spread and serious arteriosclerosis. We tend to look on these acute cases with the same apprehension with which we regard slowly on-coming dementia. We are the more inclined to view them gravely because the medical literature o n the disease of old age relates almost wholly to rapidly fatal or at least permanently irremediable ailment, and therefore we unconsciously—or subconsciously, to use the more fashionable work—form the belief that all mental disturbances in the aged are but forerunners of incurable illness, if not of speedy death. In a sense this belief is true. Even acute attacks that are

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Dec 30, 1911

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