What are causes of delirium, dementia, and amnesia in the elderly?

Updated: Sep 19, 2018
  • Author: Richard D Shin, MD; Chief Editor: Gil Z Shlamovitz, MD, FACEP  more...
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In the elderly, the combined effects of visual and auditory impairments, dementia or other chronic brain dysfunction, medication side effects (particularly polypharmacy), and/or unfamiliar environment or nighttime darkness can lead to acute confusion or psychosis, which is known as sundowning. As the name implies, this condition usually occurs in the evening hours. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is a potential cause of sundowning as well as progressive but reversible dementia.

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