Also known as acute confusional state, acute organic reaction, acute brain syndrome, confuso-oneiric state, and toxic-metabolic encephalopathy. The term delirium comes from the Latin verb delirare, which means to go off the furrow, to derail. The term was used in the Hippocratic Corpus and other ancient medical texts with a variety of connotations, mostly revolving around the notion of a disturbance in the train of thinking. The various contexts in which the term was used are often epistemologically discontinuous with current medical thinking. During the first part of the 19th century (and especially in the French medical literature) the term delirium (délire)was used for a variety of mental states, including those characterized by disorders of intellectual function, errors of judgment (i.e. delusions), and perceptual disturbances (such as hallucinations). For a long time, delirium was distinguished from mental illness by the presence of fever. It was the French alienist Alexandre Jacques François Brierre de Boismont (1797-1881) who in 1845 made an important contribution to the syndro-matic approach which is in use today by suggesting that delirium should be conceptualized as an acute, prototypical type of insanity. Today thetermdeliriumisusedtodenoteahetero-geneous mental and neurobehavioural syndrome which is by definition associated with organic disease, although not necessarily with fever. As to its symptomatology, delirium is characterized primarily by alterations in the level of consciousness (i.e. 'clouding'), and by a disorientation in time and space. Additional symptoms may include attention deficits, impairments of cognitive functioning, delusions, hallucinations, " illusions, speech disorders, an altered sleep-wake cycle, and behavioural symptoms such as restlessness, agitation, disrobing, plucking, physical aggression, and wandering. The hallucinations and illusions occurring in the context of delirium are primarily of a "visual nature, although the other sensory modalities may be involved as well. "Zoopsia and "formicative hallucinations are considered classical symptoms. The term " delirium tremens is reserved for delirious states occurring in the context ofalcohol withdrawal.
   Esquirol, J.-E.D. (1965). Mental maladies. A treatise on insanity. A facsimile of the English edition of 1845. Translated by Hunt, E.K. New York, NY: Hafner Publishing Company.
   Kandinsky, V. (1885). Kritische und klinische Betrachtungen im Gebiete der Sinnestäuschungen. Erste und zweite Studie. Berlin: Verlag von Friedländer und Sohn.

Dictionary of Hallucinations. . 2010.


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  • Delirium — tremens Pour les articles homonymes, voir Delirium tremens (homonymie). Le delirium tremens est une conséquence neurologique sévère du syndrome de sevrage d alcool. C est un état d agitation avec fièvre, tremblements des membres,onirisme et… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Delirium — De*lir i*um (d[ e]*l[i^]r [i^]*[u^]m), n. [L., fr. delirare to rave, to wander in mind, prop., to go out of the furrow in plowing; de + lira furrow, track; perh. akin to G. geleise track, rut, and E. last to endure.] 1. (Med.) A state in which… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Delirium — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Delirium Información personal Origen Málaga, España …   Wikipedia Español

  • delirium — tremens [ delirjɔmtremɛ̃s ] ou delirium [ delirjɔm ] n. m. inv. • 1819; en angl. 1813; mots lat. « délire tremblant » ♦ Didact. Délire aigu accompagné d agitation et de tremblement et qui est particulier aux alcooliques. Un accès de delirium… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Delirium — Sn Bewußtseinstrübung erw. fach. (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. dēlīrium Irresein , zu l. dēlīrus wahnsinnig (und l. dēlīrāre wahnsinnig sein; Unsinniges reden, faseln ), das auf einer Zusammenbildung von l. dē līrā (īre), eigentlich von… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • delirium — DELÍRIUM TRÉMENS, s.n. Criză caracterizată prin delir (1), halucinaţii vizuale sau auditive şi tremurături ale feţei şi ale membrelor, care apare la alcoolicii cronici. [pr.: ri um] – cuv. lat. Trimis de LauraGellner, 13.07.2006. Sursa: DEX 98 … …   Dicționar Român

  • DELIRIUM — (бред), термин, употребляемый в русской психиатрической литературе исключительно для обозначения одного из видов расстройств сознания (состояний сно лодобной спутанности), сопровождающихся б. или м. обильными, преимущественно зрительными… …   Большая медицинская энциклопедия

  • Delirium — Delirium, Irrereden, Phantasiren, nennt man ein den äußern Gegenständen und Verhältnissen widersprechendes falsches Denken und Urtheilen, bedingt durch irgend einen idiopathischen oder sympathischen Reizzustand des Gehirns, gewöhnlich mit… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • delirium — 1590s, from L. delirium madness, from deliriare be crazy, rave, lit. go off the furrow, a plowing metaphor, from phrase de lire, from de off, away (see DE (Cf. de )) + lira furrow, earth thrown up between two furrows, from PIE *leis track, furrow …   Etymology dictionary

  • Delirium — »Bewusstseinstrübung mit Wahnvorstellungen«: Das medizinische Fachwort wurde Ende des 17. Jh.s aus lat. delirium »Persönlichkeitsstörung« entlehnt. Das zugrunde liegende Adjektiv lat. delirus »wahnsinnig« ist von delirare »wahnsinnig sein«… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • delirium — [di lir′ē əm] n. pl. deliriums or deliria [di lir′ēə] [L, madness < delirare, to rave, lit., to turn the furrow awry in plowing < de , from + lira, a line, furrow: see LIST1] 1. a temporary state of extreme mental excitement, marked by… …   English World dictionary

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