Over the years, delirium and dementia neurocognitive disorders have developed, and many people across the globe have been affected by these disorders. However, many people still do not know the difference between the two due to their similarities in causes and symptoms. Delirium is defined as a sudden change in a person’s mental state. On the other hand, dementia is a range of signs that a person’s brain is not functioning correctly. The primary difference between the two is that delirium occurs over a short period while dementia takes some time, a week, a month or even a year to develop (Prince 65).
The two neurocognitive disorders have some common causes and symptoms. These similar causes include head injury, genetics, and Down syndrome. Studies show that dementia can also be caused by old age while the chances of developing delirium due to old age are relatively low. Another vital difference between the causes of the two disorders is that dementia can be caused by illnesses such as CJD, and AIDS infection, and other abnormalities such as depression, vitamin deficiencies, and thyroid abnormalities are also known to damage brain cells and cause dementia. However, these cases do not result in delirium (Prince 68).
Most dementia and delirium patients share some early symptoms such as confusion and forgetfulness. They have trouble finding the right words, and as a result, they are very repetitive. They also have difficulties following a storyline due to their short memory. Another common consequence is that they both experience problems in completing their everyday tasks such as taking a shower and eating. There is no significant difference between the implications of the two neurocognitive disorders and both of them result in hallucinations (Prince 70). A patient with dementia may also have signs of delirium, and in some instances, it is challenging to distinguish the two.
Girard, Timothy D., et al. “Delirium as a predictor of long-term cognitive impairment in survivors of critical illness.” Critical care medicine 38.7 (2010): 1513.
Prince, Martin, et al. “The global prevalence of dementia: a systematic review and metaanalysis.” Alzheimer’s & dementia: the journal of the Alzheimer’s Association 9.1 (2013): 63-75.
World Health Organization. Dementia: a public health priority. World Health Organization, 2012.