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Mental confusion

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Title: Mental confusion  
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Mental confusion

Confusion (from Latin confusĭo, -ōnis, from confundere: "to pour together;" "to mingle together;" "to confuse") is the state of being bewildered or unclear in one’s mind about something.

Medical term

Mental Confusion Classifications
ICD-10 R41.0
ICD-9 298.9
MedlinePlus 003205
MeSH D003221

The term, "acute mental confusion"[1] is often used interchangeably with delirium[2] in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems and the Medical Subject Headings publications to describe the pathology. These refer to the loss of orientation, or the ability to place oneself correctly in the world by time, location; and personal identity. Mental confusion is sometimes accompanied by disordered consciousness (the loss of linear thinking) and memory loss (the ability to correctly recall previous events or learn new material).[3]


Mental confusion may result from drug side effects[4] or from a relatively sudden brain dysfunction. Acute confusion is often called dementia, as well.

Differential diagnosis

The most common causes of drug induced acute confusion are dopaminergic drugs (used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease), diuretics, tricyclic or tetracyclic antidepressants and benzodiazepines. The elderly, and especially those with pre-existing dementia, are most at risk for drug induced acute confusional states.[6] New research is finding a link between Vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment (which includes 'foggy brain').[7]

See also


  1. ^ Confusion Definition; Oxford Dictionary online.
  2. ^ Delirium; Symptom Finder online ; accessed .
  3. ^ Citing: Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers; 2007; Saunders.
  4. ^ Waters, Jo (2 April 2012). "Why don't GPS warn you that statins can harm your memory?". Daily Mail (London). 
  5. ^ Acute Confusional State; Dr. Gurvinder Rull;; Document ID/Version/Reference: 1714/22/bgp2104; updated: 13 Jan 2009; accessed: when?.
  6. ^ Hufschmidt, A.; Shabarin, V.; Zimmer, T. (Dec 2009). "Drug-induced confusional states: the usual suspects?".  
  7. ^ Vitamin D Linked to Cognitive Impairment; Third Age online; accessed: .

External links

  • National Library of Medicine - National Institutes of Health
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