Delirium is a very common condition, often seen in the elderly population, with an incidence as high as 50% in some hospitalized patients. In addition to being very difficult for both patients, family, and care providers, it is also associated with an increased mortality risk, which makes prompt treatment imperative. The importance of the psychiatry-sleep connection is underscored by this recent study of ramelteon – essentially a more potent version of melatonin (which regulates our sleep wake cycles). In this recent study the researchers were able to lower the incidence of delirium by a staggering 32% vs 3% for placebo. This is a substantial and very meaningful finding, with the ability to markedly improve outcome in many patients.
Read about more about it here: JAMA Ramelteon and Delirium