How Do You Treat Alzheimer’s Aggression?

By The Editors | February 8th, 2023

FAQ: “What are the treatments for aggression in Alzheimer’s disease?”

Managing aggression in Alzheimer’s, safely

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects memory, thinking, and behavior. One of the challenges of caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s is managing aggressive behaviors. These behaviors can be distressing for both the individual with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers, but there are treatments available to help manage them.

Alzheimer’s and Anger: Your Questions, Answered

Beware of off-label prescription medications for people living with Alzheimer’s

Antipsychotic medications, which alter the balance of chemicals in the brain to change mood and behavior, are often used to manage aggression in individuals with Alzheimer’s. However, while there is an Alzheimer’s-specific aggression drug in clinical trials now, there are currently no FDA-approved antipsychotics for use specifically in Alzheimer’s. Off-label use of these medications can be dangerous when mis-prescribed.

Antipsychotic Drugs Linked to More Hospitalizations Among Dementia Patients

CTAD: First-Ever Drug for Alzheimer’s Agitation Nears Finish Line

Non-pharmacological interventions for aggression caused by Alzheimer’s

Non-pharmacological approaches can also be effective in managing aggression in individuals with Alzheimer’s. These may include activities such as music therapy, aromatherapy, pet therapy and more. Simple changes to the environment, such as reducing noise levels and providing adequate lighting, can also help reduce aggression.

Managing Personality Changes in Dementia

Behavioral interventions, such as redirecting the individual’s attention and offering reassurance, can also be effective in managing aggression in individuals with Alzheimer’s. If non-pharmacological approaches and environmental modifications are not effective, talk with your doctor or another specialist about additional strategies for managing aggression, including individualized care plans and special training for caregivers on how to respond to aggressive behaviors.

8 Good Activities for People Living With Alzheimer’s and Dementia

Treatment for aggression in Alzheimer’s disease should be tailored to the individual. An effective treatment might involve a combination of approaches as laid out by a person’s doctor and/or care team.

If you find our articles and interviews helpful, please consider becoming a supporting member of our community. Frustrated by the lack of an editorially independent source of information on brain health and Alzheimer’s disease, we decided to create Being Patient. We are a team of dedicated journalists covering the latest research on Alzheimer’s, bringing you access to the experts and elevating the patient perspective on what it’s like to live with dementia.

Please help support our mission.

Leave a Reply

We are glad you have chosen to leave a comment. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated according to our comment policy.