Micronutrient deficiencies and delirium

Could micronutrient deficiencies in older adults lead to delirium?

A recent systematic review delved into this critical question (link to study).

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜‚๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐˜€?
Micronutrients, usually vitamins and minerals, are essential for healthy development and overall well-being. Unlike macronutrients, which are needed in more significant amounts and include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, micronutrients are required in smaller quantities. However, their impact on health is profound, supporting functions ranging from bone growth to brain function.

๐—ช๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜‚๐—บ?
Delirium is a sudden and often temporary state of confusion. It can be more common in older individuals, especially those hospitalised. This condition affects the patient’s well-being, leading to extended hospital stays and increased healthcare costs. One potentially suspected cause may be a deficiency in certain micronutrients.

๐—ง๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฐ๐˜‚๐˜€ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐˜€ ๐˜€๐˜†๐˜€๐˜๐—ฒ๐—บ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ฐ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐˜„:
Researchers analysed seven studies to explore the link between deficiencies in specific micronutrients (like cobalamin or vitamin B12, thiamine or vitamin B1, and vitamin D) and the onset of delirium in older adults.

๐—ž๐—ฒ๐˜† ๐—™๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€:
โ€ข There was an association between a lack of these micronutrients and an increased risk of delirium.
โ€ข Such deficiencies might disrupt the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain, potentially leading to delirium.
โ€ข Delirium seems more prevalent among hospitalised older adults, especially post-surgery.

๐—Ÿ๐—ผ๐—ผ๐—ธ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฎ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ:
While these findings suggest a connection, it is critical to note that they do not prove causality. More research is needed to determine if these deficiencies directly cause delirium. It is also fundamental to understand that merely supplementing these vitamins might not be a complete solution to prevent or treat delirium. Regular nutritional screenings for older adults could be a proactive approach to identifying and supporting those at risk.

๐—š๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ป ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฒ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ต๐˜๐˜€, ๐—ถ๐˜ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ด๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ณ๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐—ณ ๐—ฏ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ป๐˜‚๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป, ๐—ฒ๐˜€๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฒ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฝ๐˜‚๐—น๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐—ผ๐—ป. ๐—›๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐˜„๐—ฒ ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ ๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—น๐—ผ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ ๐—ผ๐—ป๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ป๐˜‚๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜€๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ถ๐—ฟ ๐—ต๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—น๐˜๐—ต?

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