Changes in Behavior
A change in how a person acts is called altered behavior. A change
- Disorientation to time and
- Unusually aggressive or combative
- Lethargy, unexplained sleepiness, or the inability to
arouse a person from sleep.
Altered behavior can be caused by conditions or substances that may
affect the brain, such as:
- Prescription and nonprescription medicine.
- Drug and
alcohol abuse or withdrawal.
- Exposure to toxins, such as carbon monoxide, arsenic,
- Lack of oxygen to the brain.
- Abnormally high blood sugar
(hyperglycemia) or abnormally low blood sugar
- Infection, especially in older
- Mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders,
depression, or psychosis.
- Blockages in the blood vessels in the
brain, such as in a
- Bleeding in the brain from a head
injury or stroke.
- Destruction of brain tissue by a
- Pressure on brain tissue by a tumor or swelling.
Changes in behavior may be sudden, such as those caused by a stroke
or head injury. Or they may be gradual, such as those caused by a tumor or swelling in the
|Primary Medical Reviewer||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||September 1, 2011|