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Delirium in hospitalized adults: Situation critical, no relief available
Date:7/6/2009

irium. The study also found no difference between antipsychotics in treating delirium. To date, there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved drugs to prevent or manage delirium according to Dr. Boustani.

"Research on delirium is at a point similar to where Alzheimer disease research was 30 years ago. The scientific and policy communities should encourage the FDA to provide guidance regarding the evaluation of potential new therapies for delirium. Hopefully this will promote rapid drug discovery and translation into delivery for patient care," said Dr. Boustani.

For vulnerable older adults only a slight insult, such as developing a urinary tract infection or taking an over-the-counter drug with anti-cholinergic effects (including many popular brands of sleeping pills), may lead to delirium. Less vulnerable individuals may require a more major insult, such as a stroke or heart attack, to trigger delirium, according to Dr. Boustani, who sees patients at the Healthy Aging Brain Center at the IU Center for Senior Health at Wishard.

"Our review found that drugs that affect the sleep-wake cycle, or that manage pain after surgery, may help prevent delirium," said Wishard Health Services pharmacist Noll Campbell, Pharm.D., first author of the study. "However, these treatment targets remain preliminary and require further study before they are accepted into widespread use."


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Contact: Cindy Fox Aisen
caisen@iupui.edu
317-274-7722
Indiana University
Source:Eurekalert

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