Delirium is a serious mental disturbance which usually results in cognitive dysfunction and thinking disorder in people in healthcare settings. This neurological condition increases morbidity and mortality. It is a serious clinical issue not only in Australia but globally. Although advanced age, acute injuries, pain after surgeries and previous mental disorder history are considered the main factors for becoming delirious, the ultimate pathophysiological mechanism of delirium onset is not clear. Moreover, current research suggests that children and young persons are also affected by this cognitive impairment in hospital settings.
This thesis aims to estimate the overall healthcare economic burden of delirium in healthcare settings, as well as the factors and determinants that are associated with delirium, especially in paediatric patients. This thesis will also examine the key genetic factors (genes/proteins; regulatory factors; their functional pathways) which trigger the delirium development process. Delirium causing medications and their associated target proteins will also be investigated which will contribute to understanding ICU delirium pathophysiology. Comorbidity analysis will help to understand the impact and association of other diseases on delirium.
A systematic review, random effect regression model for meta-analysis and integrated bioinformatics approach including the protein-protein interaction analysis, interaction networks analysis for regulatory elements (microRNA and transcription factors), the biological and functional pathways enrichment analysis will be performed to achieve the thesis objectives. The molecular docking simulation analysis will be used to identify the potential therapeutic target and the drug agents for delirium.
The thesis will enrich the literature and present new evidence about the economic burden, factors contributing to paediatrics delirium, the key genetic factors, to assist in developing DNA/protein-based therapeutics for delirium treatment, regulatory elements as well as associated medication/drugs related to delirium. It will also provide an enriched explanation of the pathophysiological mechanism which may open a new dimension of delirium research. Finally, the research outcomes should assist medical practitioners, health service providers as well as policy makers to develop treatment strategies for young delirious patients.
For more information, please contact the Graduate Research School.