J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 75:362-367 doi:10.1136/jnnp.2003.023366
  • Review


  1. A Burns,
  2. A Gallagley,
  3. J Byrne
  1. University of Manchester, School of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Alistair Burns
 University of Manchester, School of Psychiatry and Behavioural Sciences, 2nd Floor, Education and Research Centre, Wythenshawe Hospital, Manchester M23 9LT, UK;
  • Received 16 July 2003
  • Accepted 23 November 2003
  • Revised 19 November 2003


Delirium is a common cause of mortality and morbidity in older people in hospital, and indicates severe illness in younger patients. Identification of risk factors, education of professional carers, and a systematic approach to management can improve the outcome of the syndrome. Physicians should be aware that delirium sufferers often have an awareness of their experience, which may be belied by their varying grasp of reality.


  • Competing interests: none declared

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