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Confusion (from Latin confusĭo, -ōnis, noun of action from confundere "to pour together", or "to mingle together" also "to confuse") is the state of being bewildered or unclear in one’s mind about something.
The term, "acute mental confusion" is often used interchangeably with delirium in International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems and Medical Subject Headings to describe a pathological degree in which it usually refers to loss of orientation (ability to place oneself correctly in the world by time, location; and/or personal identity) and sometimes accompanied by disordered consciousness (loss of linear thinking) and loss of memory (the ability to correctly recall previous events or learn new material).
Confusion may result from drug side effects.
Confusion may result from a relatively sudden brain dysfunction. Acute confusion is often called delirium (also called acute confusional state), although delirium also includes a much broader array of disorders than confusion (e.g. inability to focus attention; and various impairments in awareness, or temporal and spatial orientation).
Confusion may also result from chronic organic brain pathologies such as dementia.
The most common causes of drug induced acute confusion are dopaminergic drugs used for Parkinson's disease, diuretics, tricyclic or tetracyclic antidepressants and benzodiazepines. The elderly, and especially those with pre-existing dementia, are at most risk for drug induced acute confusional states.
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