CMU Professor Kuan-Pin Su Led an International Research Team that Made a New Discovery of “Nutrition Treatment in Delirium Prevention”
Date：December 3, 2019
The international research team led by China Medical University (CMU) Professor Kuan-Pin Su has been dedicated to the research of prevention of delirium. Disruption of the sleep-wake cycle is a risk factor of delirium. Therefore, based on the analysis and clinical research of melatonin and its receptor agonist ramelteon, the team found out that “nutritional supplements and related medicine for melatonin have significant effect in preventing delirium for severe patients”. This research finding was published on the top journal in the field of sleep medicine-Sleep Medicine Review, with a high impact factor of 10.5.
Delirium is a fatal syndrome in the critical care treatment. Main symptoms of delirium include auditory and visual hallucination, delusion, and confusion that make the caregivers think the patients are going crazy. According to the latest research, 27% of hospitalized elderly are delirium patients. Especially among terminal patients, the rate of delirium has reached 85%. Since the mortality rate of delirium patients is 20-30%, this indicates the underlying condition of patients are very serious and its clinical significance cannot be underestimated.
Presently, the medical community recognizes that the most important thing for treating delirium is to find out the physiological causes and treat it. However, delirium seriously affect the patients’ prognosis, and its causes are still not clear. It is generally agreed that at the moment preventing delirium is more important than finding the treatment.
The function of circadian rhythm is an important indicator of human being’s physical and mental health. Normal operation of circadian rhythm can maintain one’s memory function, metabolic, immune, cardiovascular, and skeletal muscle functions. The Mind-Body Interface Laboratory (MBI-lab) led by Professor Su has made fruitful findings on related topic. In the latest research “Melatonergic agents in the prevention of delirium: A network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”, Professor Su’s team confirmed that the nutritional supplement of melatonin and related drugs (such as ramelteon) under appropriate uses can effectively prevent delirium. If this research can be validated by a larger clinical trial in the future, it will surely bring great clinical value to the patients and clinicians. In addition to providing a new treatment and future guideline for treating delirium, this research is expected to become a new direction for the treatment and prevention of “nutritional psychiatry”.