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Treating Agitation in People With Alzheimer's Disease

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    There are a number of behavior problems associated with Alzheimer's disease. These include depression, paranoia, wandering, hallucinations (seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there), restlessness, irritability, uncharacteristic cursing, threatening language, and confusion. These problems can interfere with normal daily activity and sleep and may increase the risk of harm to the person with Alzheimer's and his or her caregiver.

    Often, agitation is triggered by a change in environment, fear, or fatigue. Other times, it's triggered by an infection or another medical problem. Therefore, it's important to receive a medical evaluation to look for treatable causes of agitation.

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    If a medical problem does not exist, then the agitation can be managed using medication and simple behavioral techniques to simplify the patient’s routine and distract them from the stress that caused the problem.

    Medications often used to treat agitation include:

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Neil Lava, MD on June 28, 2014
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