Altered CognitionAltered cognition is physiological or psychological response brought about by physical or mental changes by the body due to changes in the environment. There are various cognition impairments that bring about changes physical and mental state of a patient or person. One of these causes is called delirium that is a response to psychological changes. Delirium is a disturbance that affects the consciousness. It consists of content that relies on communication of the cerebral hemispheres and upper brain stem governs arousal that greatly affects the consciousness. Thus disturbance in consciousness occur when disease processes interrupt the functioning of content, arousal and communication between all of them.
Delirium is rather a clinical entity due to an underlying medical condition and resolves with treatment of the underlying disorder. Hypoactive form of delirium is often characterized by lethargy and psychomotor retardation and may lead to depression in most patients who may suffer from this form of delirium. Hyperactive form may involve disorientation, memory impairment, psychomotor agitation and disturbances in the sleep wake cycle which may be interpreted as dementia or hypomania in clinical practicum.
(Salmond & Pickard, 2005)There are several causes that may lead to persons having delirium mostly advanced age, dementia, bacterial infection, polypharmacy, chronic disease, surgery and use of glasses or hearing aids. Diagnosis of dementia usually requires symptoms to have been present for six months or even longer. Acute mental status changes can be classified as either structural or toxic metabolic in nature that may greatly cause delirium. If the surgeries are also not performed in a proper manner as supposed to, then the person undergoing the surgery may have infections due to improper hygiene during the whole procedures.
These infections may lead to disorders or mental disturbances that will affect the patients who keep on feeling pain and irritations in the affected places. Bacterial infections may also lead to mental disturbance and hormonal imbalance due to the healing processes that take place. Use of hearing aids or glasses requires a lot of focus and attention in order to use them properly. This may lead to mental disturbance because without this aids one has to strain in order to see or hear that involves a lot of concentration by the brain.
Chronic diseases also affects the mental performance of a person so much because the patient will keep on graving in pain causing a lot of mental disturbances most of the time. Cognitive assessment alone is not reliable for making a diagnosis of delirium because a below normal score can be caused by dementia, unwillingness to cooperate and inability to communicate. One of the most common causes of cognitive disorder is drug toxicity or overdose. (Hickey, 2002)The diagnosis or cures for delirium are Mental status screening tests that should be done to ensure that the parts of the brain that are affected are diagnosed at an early stage before the infections or damages become enormous.
If the diseases are not treated at an early stage they may lead to growth or brain tumors that have devastating effects that could lead to death hence early detections should prevent the mental disturbances. A survey was conducted that showed that adults with delirium were one point five times more likely to be hospitalized than those patients without delirium.
These cognitive disorders are mostly prone to adults and the ageing people because they are more exposed to many environmental factors that the body is not able to fight back. The doctors can also prescribe some drugs or medicine to you that can fight the diseases like thiamine, naloxone and glucose. The doctor can prescribe thiamine if Wernicke’s encephalopathy is suspected in cases of alcoholism but glucose should always be administered first. Naloxone is also used in cases of suspected Opioid intoxication in the patient.
The doctor can also perform some laboratory tests to the patients that may include coagulation studies creatinine. Other tests may also include blood cultures, urinalysis and chest radiography. Urinalysis monitors the urine of the patients to see composition of the products that are being secreted to that to determine the hormonal balance that is taking place in the body of the patient. The blood is also checked for its composition so as to be able to know the extent of changes that are taking place in the body.
Radiography also checks the extent to which the chest has been affected by the environment including any infections. (Hickey, 2002)