Quick Answer: Why Does UTI Cause Altered Mental Status?

How does a UTI affect the brain?

As the bacteria in the urine spread to the bloodstream and cross the blood-brain barrier, confusion and other cognitive difficulties can be the result.

Sudden onset of these symptoms should lead one to investigate possible UTI.

Strong or foul-smelling urine odor.

Frequent or urgent need to urinate.

Why does UTI cause confusion?

Urinary tract infections and dementia. UTIs can cause sudden confusion (also known as delirium) in older people and people with dementia. If the person has a sudden and unexplained change in their behaviour, such as increased confusion, agitation, or withdrawal, this may be because of a UTI.

How long does confusion last with UTI?

A diagnosis of lower urinary tract infection can be made using a simple urine dip test. ∎delirium/acute confusion (sudden onset confusion developing within one to two days) – this is more common in the elderly. Treatment Lower UTIs are usually treated with a three-day course of antibiotic drugs.

Can a UTI cause mental status changes?

As the Alzheimer’s Society explains, UTIs can cause distressing behavior changes for a person with Alzheimer’s. These changes, referred to as delirium, can develop in as little as one to two days. Symptoms of delirium can range from agitation and restlessness to hallucinations or delusions.