Alzheimer’s disease: 11 neuropsychiatric symptoms in AD patients, 5 critical tips for caregivers

Today, the 21st of September, is celebrated as World Alzheimer’s Day, a day that aims to raise awareness and challenge the common stigma surrounding Alzheimer’s disease – the most common form of dementia. Generally, Alzheimer’s disease is thought to only affect one’s memory. But the fact is that it presents with major changes in one’s behaviour, personality and mood. It is almost like a new person altogether.

Alzheimer’s disease is an irreversible, progressive brain disorder that slowly destroys memory and thinking skills, and finally the ability to carry out daily activities. According to Dr Era Dutta, (MD Psychiatry, DNB Psych, MBBS), Consultant Neuropsychiatrist & Therapist, behavioural and psychological problems of dementia (BPSD) are seen in up to 90 per cent of those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. They are popularly called the neuropsychiatric problems. The neuropsychiatric signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease may range from mild to severe and include the following:

  • Agitation, aggression
  • Apathy
  • Screaming, hostility, verbal/physical abuse
  • Mood disturbances (e.g. depression, euphoria)
  • Social inappropriateness
  • Sexual disinhibition
  • Wandering
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Repetitive behaviour
  • Psychosis, paranoia – delusions & hallucinations
  • Shadowing (following the carer closely)

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