Agitation in Patients With Dementia: A Practical Guide to Diagnosis and Mangement

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When one thinks of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, the first thing that typically comes to mind is the progressive decline in memory and other cognitive abilities. While these cognitive deficits are certainly important and indeed a defining component of dementia, the noncognitive disruptions that often accompany these conditions can also be of considerable relevance to the patient’s and the caregiver’s quality of life and functioning. As most caregivers and clinicians are well aware, many, if not most, patients with dementias manifest psychiatric symptoms (depression, delusions, and hallucinations) as well as behavioral disturbances (agitation) during at least some parts of the course of their illness.

J Clin Psychiatry 2004;65(9):1288