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Altered Mental Status

Yelena Gimelshteyn, M.D., Peter V. Rabins, M.D., M.P.H.
Altered Mental Status is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide.

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  • “Acute mental status change” is a vague and often misleading term that can encompass any change in a patient’s mood, behavior, psychomotor skills, and/or cognition.
    • This includes level of alertness and orientation.
  • Frequently, the term is used to describe delirium.
    • Some conceptualize delirium as resulting from a breakdown of brain function in individuals with impairments in brain connectivity and brain plasticity exposed to a stressor.

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Last updated: April 10, 2018


Gimelshteyn, Yelena, and Peter V Rabins. "Altered Mental Status." Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide, 2018. Johns Hopkins Guide, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787028/all/Altered_Mental_Status.
Gimelshteyn Y, Rabins PV. Altered Mental Status. Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. 2018. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787028/all/Altered_Mental_Status. Accessed July 22, 2019.
Gimelshteyn, Y., & Rabins, P. V. (2018). Altered Mental Status. In Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. Available from https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787028/all/Altered_Mental_Status
Gimelshteyn Y, Rabins PV. Altered Mental Status [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide. ; 2018. [cited 2019 July 22]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787028/all/Altered_Mental_Status.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Altered Mental Status ID - 787028 A1 - Gimelshteyn,Yelena,M.D. AU - Rabins,Peter,M.D., M.P.H. Y1 - 2018/04/10/ BT - Johns Hopkins Psychiatry Guide UR - https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_Psychiatry_Guide/787028/all/Altered_Mental_Status DB - Johns Hopkins Guide DP - Unbound Medicine ER -