Altered Mental Status
- “Altered mental status” is a vague, often misleading description that encompasses a host of presentations that include changes in cognition, mood, behavior and/or level of arousal such as:
- Delirium and/or encephalopathy
- Dementia or other neurocognitive disorders
- Acute worsening of psychiatric illness
- There is a spectrum of acute brain dysfunction including coma, stupor, and delirium which include impairment of consciousness.
- Consciousness is further delineated into content (cognitive function mediated by cortical brain areas) and arousal (wakefulness mediated by reticular activating system).
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