Differences Between Delirium and Dementia

delirium and dementia are conditions that can be confuse, both to experience and to distinguish. Both can cause memory loss, inadequate sagacity, a decrease ability to communicate, and impaired serve. While the wonder of delirium vs dementia may seem unmanageable to answer, there are many differences between the two, including the pursue :

Older gentleman playing a puzzle game
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dementia : Dementia typically begins slowly and is gradually noticed over time. If the person who ‘s being evaluated is unknown to you, getting a report of their usual operation is keystone .

craze : delirium is normally a sudden change in a condition. One day, your love one is doing fine, and the adjacent, she may be very confused and unable to get dressed. delirium is besides known as acute confusional state, with the key being that it is acute, or sudden .


dementia : The campaign of dementia is typically a disease such as Alzheimer ‘s, vascular dementia, lewy consistency dementia, frontotemporal dementia or a related disorder .

craze : delirium is normally triggered by a particular illness, such as a urinary tract infection, pneumonia, dehydration, illegitimate drug use, or withdrawal from drugs or alcohol. Medications that interact with each early can besides cause delirium, therefore make sure your doctor knows all of the medications, supplements, and vitamins you ‘re taking, even if they ‘re lifelike substances .


dementia : dementia is by and large a chronic, progressive disease that is incurable. ( There are some reversible causes of dementia symptoms such as vitamin B12 insufficiency, normal pressure hydrocephalus, and thyroid gland dysfunction ) .

delirium : delirium can concluding for a couple of days to even a pair of months. craze is about always temp if the causal agent is identified and treated .

communication Abilities

dementia : People with dementia may have difficulty finding the right words, and the ability to express themselves gradually deteriorates as the disease progresses.

craze : craze may significantly and uncharacteristically impair person ‘s ability to speak coherently or appropriately.

Attention Span and Memory

dementia : A person ‘s degree of alertness is typically not affected until the late stages of Alzheimer ‘s, whereas memory is significantly affected throughout the disease.

delirium : In craze, the antonym is true. memory serve is normally less affect in craze but the ability to focus and maintain attention to something or person is very poor.

Activity Level

dementia : Dementia tends to not affect a person ‘s activeness level until the late stages .

craze : People with craze are often either excessively active ( hyper and restless ) or under-active ( lethargic and less responsive ) compared to common functioning .


dementia : There are presently a handful of medications approved by the Food and Drug Administration ( FDA ) to treat Alzheimer ‘s disease, the most coarse type of dementia. Those medications do n’t cure dementia but sometimes can slow the progress of the symptoms, including memory loss, poor judgment, behavioral changes and more .

FDA Approves New Medication for Alzheimer’s

In June 2021, the FDA approved Aduhelm ( aducanumab ) for treating patients with Alzheimer ’ randomness disease. Aduhelm is the first base modern drug approved to treat the disease since 2003 american samoa well as the inaugural to specifically target amyloid-beta, the protein researchers widely believe to play a function in the development of Alzheimer ‘s. delirium : craze requires contiguous treatment by a doctor. Since it ‘s normally caused by a physical illness or infection, medications such as antibiotics much resolve the craze .

craze in People With Dementia

Distinguishing between craze or dementia is authoritative ; however, a more difficult undertaking may be identifying craze in person who already has dementia. According to a learn by Fick and Flanagan, approximately 22 % of older adults in the community with dementia modernize craze. however, that rate skyrockets to 89 % for those who have dementia and are hospitalized.

Knowing how to identify delirium in person who is already confused is critical for appropriate treatment and a fast recovery. Delirium superimposed on person with dementia besides is connected with a more than doubly mortality risk compared to those with craze or dementia alone.

delirium Signs to Look For

  • Increased agitation
  • Unusually resistive to care
  • Falls
  • Catastrophic reactions
  • Decreased communication
  • Inattention
  • Fluctuating alertness

A Word From Verywell

Understanding the dispute between craze and dementia can be helpful in identifying if your loved one needs to see the doctor of the church immediately, or if he should be evaluated at an appointment that ‘s scheduled within a few weeks. Be sure to report any signs of delirium, specially a sudden change in functioning or health, to the doctor for evaluation and immediate treatment .