What to know about delirium

Delirium is a sudden change in a person’s mental function, which includes their ways of thinking and their behavior or level of consciousness. This change often affects memory and concentration.

Medical professionals do not yet fully understand delirium, but it seems to have an association with older age, alcohol withdrawal, and certain medical conditions.

In this article, we discuss different types of delirium and their associated symptoms. We also talk about delirium’s possible causes and risk factors. Finally, we cover diagnosis, treatment options, and when to see a doctor.

Full story at Medical News Today

Looking for links between Parkinson’s and bipolar disorder

A new systematic review and meta-analysis ask whether bipolar disorder is associated with developing Parkinson’s disease. Although the authors conclude that there is a link, it is a tough question to unpick.

Bipolar disorder (BD), which people once called manic depression, tends to begin around 20 years of age.

Characterized by cyclic episodes of depression and mania, BD affects an estimated 2.8% of adults in the United States each year.

Scientists do not know why BD occurs in some people but not others, although evidence suggests that the dopamine system might play a role.

Full story at Medical News Today

Don’t Force Patients Off Opioids Abruptly, New Guidelines Say, Warning Of Severe Risks

There’s no doubt that opioids have been massively over prescribed in U.S. In the haste to address the epidemic, there’s been pressure on doctors to reduce prescriptions of these drugs — and in fact prescriptions are declining. But along the way, some chronic pain patients have been forced to rapidly taper or discontinue the drugs altogether.

Now, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a new message for doctors: Abrupt changes to a patient’s opioid prescription could harm them.

On Thursday, the agency issued new guidelines for physicians on how best to manage opioid prescriptions. They recommend a deliberate approach to lowering doses for chronic pain patients who have been on long-term opioid therapy.

Full story at NPR

Sesame Street Features New Muppet Whose Mother Struggles With Addiction

Sesame Street is introducing a new initiative to support children affected by parental addiction. The initiative features a Muppet named Karli, whose mother struggles with addiction, The Washington Post reports.

Videos and other online content feature Karli, along with Sesame Street characters including Elmo and Abby Cadabby. The content is part of the Sesame Street in Communities program.

“There’s nothing else out there that addresses substance abuse for young, young kids from their perspective,” said Kama Einhorn, a senior content manager with Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind Sesame Street. “Even a parent at their most vulnerable — at the worst of their struggle — can take one thing away when they watch it with their kids, then that serves the purpose.”

Full story at Partnership For Drug-Free Kids

What are the links between alcohol and anxiety?

It is not unusual for people to use alcohol to alleviate anxiety. However, over time or in excess amounts, drinking alcohol can lead to increased levels of anxiety and stress.

For anyone prone to anxiety, it can be easy for one drink to turn into more and lead to a growing dependence on alcohol.

According to a review study that looked at anxiety and alcohol use disorders, this relationship can become a dangerous, self-perpetuating cycle.

Full story at Medical News Today