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Dement Geriatr Cogn Disord. 2004;17(1-2):65-77. Epub 2003 Oct 15.

Pharmacologic management of agitation in Alzheimer's disease.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Rochester Medical Center, Monroe Community Hospital, Rochester, NY 14620, USA.


A large body of evidence has accrued that neuropsychiatric disturbances, such as agitation, are extremely common in Alzheimer's disease. These disturbances are associated with considerable morbidity including earlier nursing home admission, more rapid progression, exacerbation of functional and cognitive deficits, and increased caregiver distress. When attention to social or environmental causes, medical conditions, or other triggers of the behavioral disturbance fails to yield improvement, a role for medication may be indicated, whereby the most dominant behavioral target symptoms are matched to the most relevant medication class. Evidence is reviewed for various medication classes in treating agitation in the patient with Alzheimer's disease, and future treatment strategies may be aimed at delaying or preventing such neuropsychiatric disturbances.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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