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Cognitive disorders and delirium are conditions in which the patient experiences a confused mental state and changes in behavior.

People who have cognitivedisorders or delirium may fall in and out of consciousness and may have problems with the following:

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  • Attention.
  • Thinking.
  • Awareness.
  • Emotion.
  • Memory.
  • Muscle control.
  • Sleeping and waking.

Delirium occurs frequently in patients with cancer, especially in patients with advanced cancer.

Delirium usually occurs suddenly and the patient's symptoms may come and go during the day. This condition can be treated and is often temporary, even in people with advanced illness. In the last 24 to 48 hours of life, however, delirium may be permanent due to problems such as organ failure.

This summary is about cognitive disorders in adults with cancer.


WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: May 16, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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