Treatment of Agitation in Dementia

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Behavioral and psychological signs and symptoms associated with dementia are common and often confusing because they do not meet criteria for typical discrete psychiatric disorders. Although the symptoms tend to occur in clusters, the clusters often vary with time and between patients. Recognizing the behavioral pathology associated with dementia is important because it can be distressing to the patient, lead to dangerous interactions with others or the environment, and result in the use of inappropriate psychotropic medications. A practical, general approach to the evaluation and management of agitation in dementia for psychiatric consultants confronted with such problems is proposed.

J Clin Psychiatry 1999;60(suppl 8):11-20