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Delirium and Dementia

Author: Dana Bartlett, BSN, MSN, MA, CSPI
(Click author's name for bio)

CE: 4.5 hours Pharmacology: 0.5 hour
Rated 4.6 out of 5.0 based on 48384 reviews

Course Summary

There are many possible causes of dementia and delirium. The more common causes are complex, such as dementia of the Alzheimer’s type or delirium that is drug induced or due to drug withdrawal. Other relevant neurological problems include mild cognitive impairment and pseudodementia. Most recently, the incidence of missed diagnoses of delirium and dementia have gained attention in the health literature due to health consequences and issues of safety when early recognition and treatment is delayed. The benefits of routine screening of cognitive impairment in a patient with delirium and dementia is of ongoing debate, however there are recognized, useful screening tools that support clinical recognition and proper treatment. General information on dementia and delirium, including risk factors, treatments, and interdisciplinary health team considerations to support patients and their families are raised.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

I.      Introduction
II.      Overview of Delirium and Dementia
1.        Statistics
III.      Dementia: Definition, Diagnostic Criteria and Etiology
1.        Major Cognitive Disorder
2.        Minor Neurocognitive Disorder
3.        Alzheimer’s Disease
4.        Frontotemporal Lobe Dementia
5.        Lewy Body Dementia
6.        Parkinson’s Disease
7.        Vascular Dementia
IV.      Delirium: Definition, Diagnostic Criteria and Etiology
1.        Delirium: DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria
2.        Mild Cognitive Impairment and Pseudodementia
V.      Assessment of Dementia
1.        Vital Signs
2.        History
3.        Physical Assessment
4.        Laboratory Tests, Imaging Studies, Other Diagnostic Tools
5.        Neurologic and Psychiatric Assessment
6.        Mini-Mental Status Exam
7.        Mini-Cog
8.        Clinical Dementia Rating
9.        Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MOCA)
VI.      Assessment of Delirium
1.        Vital Signs
2.        History
3.        Physical Assessment
4.        Laboratory Testing, Imaging Studies, Other Diagnostic Tools
5.        Neurological and Psychiatric Assessment
VII.      Clinical Care of Dementia
1.        Communication
2.        Neuropsychiatric Behavioral Problems
3.        DICE Method
VIII.     Maintaining Patient Safety and Comfort
1.        Pain Control
2.        Medications Used to Treat Dementia
3.        Other Therapies and Interventions
IX.      Delirium: A Medical Emergency
X.      Case Study: Delirium in a Hospitalized Patient
XI.      Summary


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