Back to home Apr. 2013
Memory Loss in Elderly Often Tied to Urinary Infection
When an elderly person has mental confusion, friends and relatives often assume that age or aging is the cause. However, a sudden onset of confusion (delirium) has multiple causes. Many of them are correctable. Urinary tract infection (UTI) is often one of those correctable causes.
“Urinary tract infections are extremely common in older patients,” says urologist, Alejandro Miranda-Sousa, M.D.
Urinary tract infections affect both genders, but women are more likely to suffer from UTIs, especially as they age.
Some risk factors include:
- Estrogen deficiency
- Shorter urethra
- Urinary retention
- Urinary incontinence
- A prior history of UTI
- Sexual activity
“Memory loss, changes in behavior, confusion, decreased appetite or depression could be the only signs of UTI in elder patients,” Dr. Miranda-Sousa says.If those changes are noticed by the patient or a family member, it is extremely important to have the patient evaluated by a health care professional, to determine if the delirium is caused by a correctable cause (like a UTI) and start corrective therapy immediately.
When a UTI is diagnosed, patients who begin treatment may see changes back to their normal state of mind within a few days of taking the medication. “Prompt evaluation, diagnosis and treatment will improve chances for fast and full recovery,” Dr. Miranda-Sousa says. “We should stress that periodic visits to the doctor will help your loved ones prevent health issues that could significantly impact their quality of life.”
“Memory loss, changes in behavior, confusion, decreased appetite or depression could be the only signs of UTI in elder patients,” Dr. Miranda-Sousa says.
Focusing On Your Memory
Alejandro Miranda-Sousa, M.D.
8931 Colonial Center Drive, Suite 100
Fort Myers, FL 33905