Confusion causes

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1];Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Aditya Govindavarjhulla, M.B.B.S.[2]


Confusion is a common symptom associated with various diseases and metabolic disorders. Common causes of confusion include insults to the central nervous system (CNS), metabolic disorders, and side effects of medications or illicit drugs.


Common Causes

Causes by Organ System

Cardiovascular Aorta-pulmonary artery fistula, Postoperative haemorrhage, Shock, Sick sinus syndrome
Chemical / poisoning 24-Dinitrotoluene, 44-methylenebis, 4-aminopyridine, acetylsalicylic acid, acrylamide, acute pesticide poisoning, adiponitrile, aldicarb, amoxicillin, aniline, azinphos-methyl, aztreonam, baneberry poisoning, boric acid, box thorn poisoning, bromethalin, bromide, bromophos, butyl alcohol, camphor, carbaryl, carbon tetrachloride, chlordane, chloromethane, chlorpyrifos, christmas cherry poisoning, cocaine abuse, cocaine addiction, corn lily poisoning, coumaphos, crack addiction, cresols, cresylic acid, cyanogenic glycoside, cyclohexanone, ddd, ddt, demeton-s-methyl, devil's trumpet poisoning, diazinon, dibromochloromethane, dichlorvos, dicrotophos, dieldrin, diethylene glycol, digitalis glycoside, dinitrocresol, dioxathion, disulfiram, disulfoton, ecstasy addiction, endosulfan, ethion, ethylene glycol dinitrate, fensulfothion, fenthion, foxglove poisoning, gasoline, glaze, glycol ether, heroin dependence, high melting explosive (hmx), hydrazine, hydroquinone, hydroquinone, interferon gamma, isofenphos, jet fuel-4, jet fuel-5, jimsonweed (daturastramonium), kentucky coffee tea poisoning, kerosene, king cobra poisoning, lead poisoning, lobeline, lysergic acid diethylamide, malathion, marijuana abuse, mercury poisoning, methidathion, methiocarb, methomyl, metobromuron,mepenzolate, monkshood poisoning, morphine toxicity, mustard tree poisoning, naphthalene, narcotic addiction, nickel carbonyl, nitrobenzene, nitroglycerin, nitrophenol, nitrophenol urea, nn-dimethyl-p-toluidine, oil-based paint, oleander poisoning, opioid toxicity, oxycodone addiction, parathion, phencyclidine, phosdrin, phosphine, potato(solanumtuberosum), profenofos, propane, propoxur, propylene glycol dinitrate, potassium iodide, snake bite, terbufos, tetrachloroethane, tetraethyl pyrophosphate, thallium, thallium poisoning, thallium sulfate, thiram, toluene, trichlorfon, zolpidem withdrawal
Dermatologic No underlying causes
Drug Side Effect Aldesleukin, alprazolam, amobarbital sodium, anticholinergic syndrome, apomorphine hydrochloride, atropine, bicalutamide, butorphanol, carbidopa and levodopa, colchicine toxicity, cope's syndrome,cefaclor, cycloserine, dextromethorphan toxicity, ethambutol, ezogabine, fentanyl toxicity, gallium nitrate, imipramine toxicity, mepenzolate,meropenem, methocarbamol, methylene blue, mitomycin, nabilone, nelarabine, neuroleptic malignant syndrome, oxaprozin, pergolide, phenytoin toxicity, propanol, secobarbital sodium, serotonin syndrome, teniposide,tolterodine toxicity, tramadol toxicity
Ear Nose Throat No underlying causes
Endocrine Adrenal crisis, Cushing syndrome, Hashimoto's encephalitis, hyperinsulinism, hyperparathyroidism, insulinoma, multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1, SIADH, WDHA syndrome
Environmental Dysbarism, high altitude cerebral edema
Gastroenterologic Cirrhosis of the liver, Crigler-Najjar syndrome type 1, end Stage Liver Failure, liver failure
Genetic Congenital hepatic porphyria, congenital nonhemolytic jaundice
Hematologic Anemia, Bing-Neel syndrome, Leukemia, Multiple Myeloma, Plasma cell leukemia, Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
Iatrogenic Hyperbaric oxygen
Infectious Disease Acanthamoeba infection, Actinomycetales infection, Acute Bokhoror, Acute Disseminated Encephalomyelitis, African Sleeping sickness, Bolivian hemorrhagic fever, Brill-Zinsser disease, Bubonic plague, Cryptococcal Meningitis, Cryptococcosis, Cysticercosis, Ehrlichiosis, Epidemic typhus, Flea-borne diseases, Fungal meningitis, Granulomatous amebic encephalitis, HIV/AIDS, Legionnaires' disease, Listeriosis, Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis, Lysteria monocytoigeneses meningitis, Viral meningitis, Machupo virus, Malaria, Marburg virus, Measles Encephalitis, Melioidosis, Meningitis, Meningococcal disease, Naegleria, Neurocysticercosis, Neurosyphilis, Nipah virus encephalitis, Nocardiosis, Paratyphoid fever, Pediatric AIDS, Postoperative septicaemia, Primary amebic meningoencephalitis, Rabies, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Tick-borne encephalitis, Toxemia, Toxic Shock Syndrome, Toxoplasmosis, Trypanosomiasis, Yellow fever, Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome
Musculoskeletal / Ortho No underlying causes
Neurologic Acute mountain sickness, Aging brain syndrome, Alzheimer disease , Anoxemia, Arbovirosis, Argentinean hemorrhagic fever, Basilar artery insufficiency syndrome, Benign astrocytoma, Berry aneurysm, Brain infection, Bristowe's syndrome, Central nervous system infections, Central nervous system lymphoma primary, Cerebellar abscess, Cerebral abscess, Classic migraine, Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Disequilibrium syndrome, Grand mal epilepsy, Grand mal seizures, Leukoencephalopathy, Limbic encephalitis, Multi-Infarct Dementia, Prion diseases, Stroke, Subdural hematoma, Sundown syndrome, Transient Ischemic Attack, Uremic encephalopathy, Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome, Wernicke's encephalopathy
Nutritional / Metabolic Aceruloplasminemia, Acid-Base Imbalance, Acute liver failure, Alcohol drinking, Alcohol Withdrawal , Alcoholic Neuropathy, Azotemia familial, Burnett's milk drinker's syndrome, Carnitine transporter deficiency, Citrullinemia, Coenzyme Q cytochrome c reductase deficiency , Dehydration, Diabetic hypoglycemia, Diabetic Ketoacidosis, Dilutional hyponatremia, Dobriner syndrome, Folate deficiency, Graeck-Imerslund disease, Hyperglycemic Hyperosmolar Nonketotic Syndrome, Hypervitaminoses A and D, Hypoglycemia, Hypothermia, Hypovolemia, Inborn urea cycle disorder, Metabolic Acidosis, Metabolic encephalopathy, Milk-Alkali syndrome, N-acetyl glutamate synthetase deficiency, Nutritional deficiency, Ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) Deficiency, Pellagra, Pyridoxine deficiency, Q fever, Respiratory acidosis, Respiratory alkalosis, Reye's Syndrome, Urea Cycle Disorders, Water Intoxication
Obstetric/Gynecologic Acute fatty liver of pregnancy, Hyperemesis Gravidarum
Oncologic No underlying causes
Opthalmologic No underlying causes
Overdose / Toxicity Alprazolam overdose, Appian-Plutarch syndrome, Darvocet overdose, Demerol overdose, Dexedrine overdose, Dilaudid overdose, Ecstasy overdose, Hydrocodone overdose, Lorazepam overdose, Lortab overdose, Methadone overdose, Methamphetamine overdose, Ritalin overdose, Vicodin overdose , Zolpidem overdose
Psychiatric Brief Psychotic Disorder, Dissociative Amnesia, Dissociative disorder, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Nonaffective Psychosis, Schizoaffective disorder
Pulmonary Postoperative respiratory failure, Respiratory depression
Renal / Electrolyte Chronic renal insufficiency, End-stage renal disease, Hypercalcemia, Hypomagnesemia , Hyponatremia, Hypophosphatemia , Kidney failure
Rheum / Immune / Allergy Antiphospholipid Syndrome, Autoimmune Hepatitis, Autoimmune limbic encephalitis, Neurosarcoidosis
Sexual No underlying causes
Trauma Concussion, Head injury, Traumatic Brain Injury
Urologic No underlying causes
Dental No underlying causes
Miscellaneous No underlying causes

Causes in Alphabetical Order


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