School of Medicine Publications and Presentations

Dementia, Delirium, and Depression

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Changes in mental status can affect many residents during their stay in a post-acute or long-term care (PA/LTC) facility. Changes in cognition can either be acute as in seen in delirium, subacute as seen in depression, or chronic as seen in dementia. As such assessment by the practitioner can be challenging as one or more of these conditions may occur in the same resident. Understanding the similarities and dissimilarities between the clinical features of dementia, delirium, and depression is paramount when evaluating the resident who presents with a change in mental status. The chapter will emphasize how to differentiate between these three conditions and to describe the common presentations of dementia, delirium, and depression, and review their differential diagnosis and treatment. Screening tools are discussed as well as the pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic and behavioral interventions in the treatment of delirium, depression, and dementia.


© 2023 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

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Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine



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