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Psych Congress  

Symptoms Targeted for Treatment by Caregivers of People With Dementia and Agitation

Kenneth Rockwood, MD; Myrlene Aigbogun, MPH; Justin Stanley, BS; Helen Wong, MSc; Taylor Dunn, BS; Chere Chapman, MBA, MHSc; Maia Miguelez, PhD; Ross Baker, PhD, MBA

This poster was presented at the 30th annual  Psych Congress, held Sept. 16-19, 2017, in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Background: Neuropsychiatric symptoms (NPS) are associated with a worse quality of life and caregiver burden. We evaluated which symptoms caregivers most often selected as targets for treatment.

Methods: The site,, is an online database (97% caregivers, 3% patients) containing information on 61 dementia symptoms. Users can select symptoms that are important for monitoring or treatment. We present symptoms most often tracked in people demonstrating agitation defined based on terms in literature.1,2

Results: In the database (n=4121), as of March 2017, 2577 people staged with a validated algorithm according to disease severity.3 NPS were monitored in 83% and agitation in 74%. Agitation was targeted across all stages: 68% mild cognitive impairment, 73% mild, 73% moderate and 90% severe dementia. On average, 7.7 symptoms were targeted; most frequent being memory of recent events (40%), repetitive questioning (35%) and irritability/frustration (30%).

Conclusion: Our analysis showed agitation was a common target for treatment. Apart from recent memory impairment, agitation is targeted for treatment in association with verbal repetition and irritability. This common and distressing phenotype represents a clinically meaningful target for treatment.

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