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Alzheimer’s + hospitalization + delirium: not a good mix

Study could lead to better care and outcomes for hospitalized seniors

Tamara G. Fong, M.D., Ph.D.'s picture

Among hospitalized Alzheimer’s patients, a substantial proportion of risk for adverse outcomes could be attributed to delirium, including 6.2 percent of deaths, 15.2 percent of institutionalization, and 20.6 percent of cognitive decline. This information, yielded from a study recently conducted by the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR), confirms that for patients with Alzheimer’s disease, the combination of a hospital stay and delirium can pose increased risks.

Currently, there are patient care programs designed to prevent delirium by keeping hospitalized seniors oriented to their surroundings, meeting their diet and sleep needs, and helping them remain as physically active as possible. Research indicates that the findings of this new study may ultimately change the way Alzheimer’s patients are cared for in the future.

Read more about the study:

Findings Show That Alzheimer’s Patients Experience Adverse Outcomes Following Hospitalization, Delirium

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Assistant Scientist, Aging Brain Center, Institute for Aging Research Instructor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Tamara G. Fong is an Assistant Scientist II at the Aging Brain Center and an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fong's research focuses on the causes and treatments of cognitive decline and dementia and is supported by a K23 Career Development Award from the National Institute on Aging.  Her clinical activities include an outpatient clinic at in the Cognitive Neurology Unit at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where she evaluates and treats patients with Alzheimer's disease, diffuse Lewy body disease, fronto-temporal dementia, vascular dementia, and mild...

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