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NOT DEMENTIA

MANY OLDER ADULTS WHO'VE BEEN HOSPITALIZED MAY DEVELOP COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

As people age, their ability to cope with disruptions like being hospitalized declines. Now a new study has shown that a startling number of elders who did not previously manifest cognition problems seem to have them at the time of hospital discharge. Michele Bellantoni, a geriatrics expert at Johns Hopkins, explains.

BELLATONI: A third of these adults previously not diagnosed with dementia met criteria for what we would think of as dementia but in fact it really is likely delirium. So changes in cognition associated with being acutely ill, being in a change in environment, having a change in medications. We now have some numbers to hang our hats on. One in three over the age of 70, unrecognized before being in the hospital, clearly having a problem at the time they're being discharged, at a time when everything is changing. :32

The good news is that the delirium does resolve on its own most of the time. At Johns Hopkins, I'm Elizabeth Tracey.

 



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