NIDUS is a collaborative, multidisciplinary network dedicated to the acceleration of scientific discovery in delirium research, through focused collaboration and creation of sustainable infrastructure to enhance innovative and high-quality research. Specifically, NIDUS was created in response to a call from the National Institute on Aging to support a collaborative network to advance scientific research on the causes, mechanisms, outcomes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of delirium in older adults (Grant no. R33AG071744). NIDUS is an inclusive resource for all members of the worldwide delirium research community, providing resources, facilitating multi-site collaboration, and providing training opportunities to stimulate future research in the field.
Delirium is an acute disorder of attention and cognition that commonly occurs following acute illness, surgery, or hospitalization - especially in older adults. Delirium affects 2.6 million older adults/year and costs more than $164 billion/year in healthcare expenses. Symptoms, which tend to come and go during the course of the day, may include:
  • Difficulty paying attention or maintaining awareness of surroundings
  • Confusion regarding day-to-day events, daily routines, and familiar people
  • Hallucinations or becoming paranoid due to difficulty interpreting their environment
  • Rambling speech
  • Jumbled thoughts
  • Changes in personality (e.g., quiet and withdrawn, agitated or hyperactive)
  • Disruption of typical sleep and eating patterns
The study of delirium is inherently difficult – the diagnosis of delirium lacks a consistent approach to identification, there is a risk for misdiagnosis, there are currently no known biomarkers for diagnosis or staging of delirium, and developing interventions is challenging in part due to its multifactorial etiology. Primary prevention appears to be more effective than intervention after delirium occurs.

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