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Consciousness and the rabbit holes of delirium.

Eeles, E., Ward, S., Teodorczuk, A., Dissanayaka, N. and Burianová, H., 2020. Consciousness and the rabbit holes of delirium. Medical Hypotheses, 144, 110260.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mehy.2020.110260

Abstract

Delirium is a common disorder in hospitalized older adults and the defining characteristic is a disturbance of consciousness. Unfortunately, there are currently no testable measures of consciousness as pertains to its disruption in delirium. Not surprisingly rates of recognition of delirium suffer. Arguably, a greater understanding of the quantum of consciousness may improve delirium diagnosis through better diagnostic tools. Candidate dimensions of consciousness derived from fields of psychology, psychiatry, and philosophy are discussed and relevance to delirium explored. Based upon existing literature in the field of consciousness we identify the pre-reflective state, experiential awareness, and functional networks as candidate sites that may be affected in delirium. Opportunities for clinical instrument development and how these tools can be tested are discussed. We conclude that consciousness content may not hold to a unitary measurement, but facets of its integrity that are impacted in delirium are open to further exploration. Disorders in pre-reflective status, experiential awareness, and functional networks may represent the measurable “rabbit holes” of consciousness disturbance.

Item Type:Article
ISSN:0306-9877
Uncontrolled Keywords:delirium; consciousness; attention
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:34621
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:28 Sep 2020 13:23
Last Modified:28 Sep 2020 13:23

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