Last reviewed: November 2017
Last updated: November  2017

Summary

Differentials

Common

  • Stroke/CVA and transient ischaemic attack
  • Head injury
  • Dementia
  • Delirium
  • Seizures with possible postictal state
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Ventricular arrhythmias
  • Depression
  • Hyperglycaemia
  • Hypoglycaemia
  • Hypernatraemia
  • Hyponatraemia
  • Dehydration (volume depletion)
  • Hypothermia
  • Hypoxia
  • Hypercarbia
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
  • Uraemia
  • Acute systemic infection
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Acute psychosis
  • Alcohol withdrawal
  • Alcohol toxicity
  • Drug toxicity
  • Drug withdrawal
  • Hip fracture
  • Pulmonary embolism

Uncommon

  • Subdural haematoma
  • Epidural haematoma
  • Subarachnoid haemorrhage
  • Brain tumour
  • Non-convulsive status epilepticus
  • Hypertensive encephalopathy
  • Wernicke's encephalopathy (thiamine deficiency)
  • Hypercalcaemia
  • Hypocalcaemia
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Hyperthermia
  • Adrenal insufficiency
  • Thyrotoxicosis
  • Myxoedema coma
  • Pituitary apoplexy
  • Meningitis
  • Encephalitis
  • Neurosyphilis
  • Brain abscess
  • Mesenteric ischaemia
  • Appendicitis
  • Acute diverticulitis
  • Constipation

Contributors

Authors VIEW ALL

Assistant Professor of Medicine

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Worcester

MA

Disclosures

GB declares that he has no competing interests.

Dr Gary Blanchard would like to gratefully acknowledge Dr David Dosa, a previous contributor to this topic. DD declares that he has no competing interests.

Peer reviewers VIEW ALL

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Division of Neurology

Duke University Medical Center

Durham

NC

Disclosures

TC has worked as a paid speaker for GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer in 2008 and 2009.

Consultant in Old Age Psychiatry

Mental Health Unit

Lister Hospital

Stevenage

UK

Disclosures

KA declares that he has no competing interests.

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