Delirium in early-stage alzheimer's disease: enhancing cognitive reserve as a possible preventive measure

J Gerontol Nurs. 2009 Mar;35(3):30-8. doi: 10.3928/00989134-20090301-06.


Delirium is a disorder of acute onset with fluctuating symptoms and is character ized by inattention, disorganized thinking and altered levels of consciousness. The risk for delirium is greatest in individual with dementia, and the incidence of both is increasing worldwide because of the aging of our population. Although s clinical trials have tested interventions f delirium prevention in individuals without dementia, little is known about the m anisms for the prevention of delirium i early-stage Alzheimer's disease (AD). Th purpose of this article is to explore ways o preventing delirium and slowing the ra of cognitive decline in early-stage AD enhancing cognitive reserve. An agenda for future research on interventions to prevent delirium in individuals with early-stage AD is also presented.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Alzheimer Disease / complications*
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology
  • Cognition*
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
  • Delirium / epidemiology
  • Delirium / etiology
  • Delirium / prevention & control*
  • Disease Progression
  • Early Diagnosis
  • Evidence-Based Practice / organization & administration
  • Exercise
  • Health Promotion / methods*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Internet
  • Leisure Activities
  • Neuronal Plasticity
  • Nurse's Role
  • Nursing Research
  • Prevalence
  • Primary Prevention / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Social Behavior