Confusion

MedicineNet - Confusion

Confusion Symptoms & Signs

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Symptoms & Signs

Confusion is a change in mental status in which a person is not able to think with his or her usual level of clarity. Frequently, confusion leads to the loss of ability to recognize people and or places, or tell time and the date. Feelings of disorientation are common in confusion, and decision-making ability is impaired.

Confusion may arise suddenly or develop gradually over time. Confusion has multiple causes, including injuries, medical conditions, medications, environmental factors, and substance abuse.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/30/2017

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REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

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      • What is the outlook for shock?
    • Sleep Apnea Sleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sleep Apnea Article
      • Sleep apnea facts
      • What is sleep apnea?
      • What are the types of sleep apnea?
      • What is central sleep apnea and what causes it?
      • What is obstructive sleep apnea and what causes it?
      • How common is obstructive sleep apnea?
      • What are obstructive sleep apnea symptoms?
      • What are some of the complications of sleep apnea?
      • How is obstructive sleep apnea diagnosed and evaluated?
      • What are the nonsurgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea?
      • What are the surgical treatments for obstructive sleep apnea?
      • Why is it important to treat obstructive sleep apnea?
    • Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs) A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...learn more »
      In This Article
      Stroke (Signs, Symptoms, Warning Signs) Article
      • Stroke definition and facts
      • What is a stroke?
      • What is the NIH Stroke Scale?
      • What are the risk factors for stroke?
      • What are the warning signs and symptoms of a stroke?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a stroke?
      • What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the types of stroke?
      • What causes a stroke?
      • What tests diagnose stroke?
      • What is the treatment for stroke?
      • Is recovery after a stroke possible?
      • What is stroke rehabilitation?
      • What is the prognosis for a person that suffers a stroke?
      • Which specialties of doctors treat stroke?
      • Can strokes be prevented?
    • Teen Drug Abuse Drugs commonly abused by teens include tobacco products, marijuana, cold medications, inhalants, depressants, stimulants,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Teen Drug Abuse Article
      • Teen drug abuse facts
      • What drugs are abused by teenagers?
      • What are some adolescent drug use statistics?
      • What are the dangerous effects of drug use in teens?
      • How can parents prevent drug use?
      • What are the symptoms and warning signs of drug abuse?
      • What is drug abuse?
      • What are the causes and risk factors of teen drug use?
      • What are the symptoms of drug abuse in teens?
      • What is the treatment of drug intoxication?
      • What are treatments for drug addiction?
      • Where can a person get help for teen drug abuse?
    • Ticks Ticks are known transmitters of disease to humans and animals. Tick-borne diseases include Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted...learn more »
    • Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) Toxic shock syndrome is an infection that causes symptoms such as low blood pressure, fever, and a rash with peeling skin....learn more »
      In This Article
      Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) Article
      • Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) facts
      • What is toxic shock syndrome?
      • What causes toxic shock syndrome?
      • What are risk factors for toxic shock syndrome?
      • What are toxic shock syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose toxic shock syndrome?
      • What is the treatment for toxic shock syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis of toxic shock syndrome?
      • Is it possible to prevent toxic shock syndrome?
    • Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke) When a portion of the brain loses blood supply, through a blood clot or embolus, a transient ischemic attack (TIA, mini-stroke)...learn more »
      In This Article
      Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA, Mini-Stroke) Article
      • Transient ischemic attack (TIA) facts
      • What is a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the causes of transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the risk factors for transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What are the symptoms of transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • How is transient ischemic attack (TIA) diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
      • What is the prognosis for transient ischemic attack (TIA)?
    • Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection is the most common type of infection acquired by patients while hospitalized....learn more »
      In This Article
      Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Article
      • Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) facts
      • What are vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)?
      • What causes a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?
      • Are VRE contagious?
      • How are vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) spread?
      • What are risk factors for vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections?
      • What is the incubation period and contagious period for VRE?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?
      • What types of doctors treat VRE infections?
      • How do physicians diagnose vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infections?
      • What is the treatment for a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?
      • What is the prognosis of a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?
      • What are the complications of VRE infections?
      • Is it possible to prevent vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections?
      • What precautions should people take when tending to someone with a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?
      • What research is being done on vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)?
      • Where can people find more information on vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections?
    • West Nile Virus West Nile virus (West Nile encephalitis) is a brain infection caused by a virus. People become infected with the virus after...learn more »
      In This Article
      West Nile Virus Article
      • West Nile virus facts
      • What is the history of West Nile virus?
      • Where did the West Nile virus come from?
      • How do people get West Nile virus?
      • How do mosquitoes get infected with the West Nile virus?
      • Is the West Nile virus contagious?
      • Besides mosquitoes, can other insects transmit the West Nile virus?
      • Are there other viruses like the West Nile virus?
      • What are West Nile virus infection symptoms and signs?
      • When is there an increased risk for West Nile virus infection?
      • Who is at risk for getting a West Nile virus infection?
      • What is the treatment for West Nile virus? Is it possible to prevent West Nile virus infection with a vaccine?
      • Is a woman's pregnancy at risk if she gets infected with the West Nile virus?
      • What can a community do to reduce the risk of an outbreak of the West Nile virus?
      • What can a person do to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the West Nile virus?
    • Yellow Fever Yellow fever is an infectious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Side effects are rare with the yellow fever vaccine....learn more »
      In This Article
      Yellow Fever Article
      • Yellow fever facts
      • What is yellow fever? What is the history of yellow fever?
      • What causes yellow fever?
      • How is yellow fever transmitted?
      • What areas are high risk for contracting yellow fever?
      • What is the incubation period for yellow fever?
      • Is yellow fever contagious? How long is the contagious period for yellow fever?
      • What types of specialists treat yellow fever?
      • What are yellow fever symptoms and signs?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose yellow fever?
      • What is the treatment for yellow fever?
      • How long does yellow fever last?
      • What is the prognosis for people with yellow fever?
      • Is it possible to prevent yellow fever?
      • What are the side effects of the yellow fever vaccine?
      • Where can people get more information on yellow fever?
Other Causes of Confusion
  • Carbon Monoxide Exposure
  • Delirium
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Electrolyte Imbalances
  • Hospitalization (Particularly in the Elderly)
  • Korsakoff Syndrome
  • Liver Failure
  • Medications
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Sleep Deprivation
  • Toxins
  • Wernicke's Encephalopathy


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List