Skip to main content
Published in: The journal of nutrition, health & aging 9/2023

Open Access 18-09-2023 | Vitamin D Deficiency | Review

Micronutrient Deficiency and Its Potential Role in Delirium Onset in Older Adults: A Systematic Review

Authors: Chiara Ceolin, M. V. Papa, M. De Rui, M. Devita, G. Sergi, A. Coin

Published in: The journal of nutrition, health & aging | Issue 9/2023

Login to get access


Background and Objectives

One of the pathogenetic hypotheses of delirium is the “neuroinflammatory theory” with consequent neurotoxicity of brain connectivity networks. Micronutrients may play a significant role in the prevention of neuroinflammation. This systematic review addresses the role of micronutrients in the development of delirium in older populations.


The EBSCO, Cochrane, PubMed, and Web of Science databases were searched for articles on delirium and micronutrients. The methodological quality of the studies included in the review was evaluated with the Newcastle-Ottawa Scales for observational studies and for case-control studies.


1326 papers were identified from the searches, 7 of which met the inclusion criteria (see section 2.3). All the papers included were written in English. Delirium was predominantly secondary to post-operative dysfunction or acute medical conditions. By altering the production of neurotransmitters resulting in an imbalance, and by reducing their immunomodulatory role with a consequent increase in inflammatory oxidative stress, micronutrient deficiency seems to be associated with an increased incidence of delirium.


This review supports the existence of an association between micronutrient deficiency (i.e. cobalamin, thiamine, and vitamin D) and an increased incidence of delirium, with a greater prevalence in hospitalized patients.
Available only for authorised users
Micronutrient Deficiency and Its Potential Role in Delirium Onset in Older Adults: A Systematic Review
Chiara Ceolin
M. V. Papa
M. De Rui
M. Devita
G. Sergi
A. Coin
Publication date
Springer Paris
Published in
The journal of nutrition, health & aging / Issue 9/2023
Print ISSN: 1279-7707
Electronic ISSN: 1760-4788

Other articles of this Issue 9/2023

The journal of nutrition, health & aging 9/2023 Go to the issue

Test your knowledge with Case-Based Clinical Insights

Oncology and Hematology Cases

A 28-year-old male patient (188 cm, 72 kg) presents to the central emergency department with dorsal pain after returning from a trip to East Asia. He reports feeling a bit tired and listless without classic signs of infection. In the clinical examination, apart from an approximately fist-sized, deeply situated, sturdy and non-displaceable bulging of the abdominal wall sinistrally paraumbilically, a slight enlargement of the left testis with pain upon palpation is noticeable. What is your first suspicion, and what are your first diagnostic steps?

The 46-year-old male patient has been showing various signs of inflammation for 6–8 weeks: Sore throat, canker sores, joint pain and febrile rhinitis. There is an unintended weight loss of 2–3 kg. Physical examination reveals findings that are inconspicuous for the patient’s age. How do you proceed now?

A 76-year-old, overweight female patient with anaemia and type II diabetes noted by her family doctor presents with fatigue, forgetfulness and yellowish pallor in a neglected state. Moreover, she shows an increasingly unsteady gait. How do you proceed?

A 56-year-old man presents with concentration problems, dorsal pain, fatigue and a marked increase in urination. His family history is positive for bronchial carcinoma. Physical examination reveals tenderness upon percussion in the lumbar spine. How do you proceed?

Navigating the Treatment of Renal Cell Carcinoma

Insights on the Current Treatment Landscape and Managing Patient Health

In recent years, tremendous efforts have been made in the medical treatment of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (mRCC), with Immune-Oncological combinations standing as the current standard of care in the first-line setting of mRCC. 

In these podcasts, expert authors discuss the current treatment landscape for these new therapies and discuss what should be taken into account when choosing the most appropriate treatment for their patients so as to balance oncological outcomes, adverse events and quality of life.

Supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Eisai Europe Limited.

Listen now