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Neurol Clin. 2001 Nov;19(4):867-85.


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  • 1Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia, but often several other conditions causing dementia are present on brain autopsies. Palliative care medical issues are similar in all late stage progressive degenerative dementias and include; cardiopulmonary resuscitation, transfer to acute care setting, antibiotic therapy, and tube feeding. Behavioral symptoms of dementia include agitation and resistiveness to care. Quality of life of individuals suffering from dementia is enhanced by availability of meaningful activities and by avoidance of restraints. Family support and involvement are crucial for optimal care. Formulation of advanced directives or an advance proxy plan is important for assuring the patient's previous wishes or best interests are considered when decisions about treatment strategies are made.

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