What is Agitation in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease (AD)?
AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that manifests initially as forgetfulness advancing to severe cognitive impairment and memory loss.
It is a common form of dementia and afflicts an estimated 5 million individuals in the United States, a number that is anticipated to increase to approximately 14 million by 2050.
In addition to cognitive decline, individuals diagnosed with AD typically experience behavioral and psychological symptoms including agitation and aggression. These symptoms are seen in a high percentage of AD sufferers with agitation being reported in as many as 40% of patients. Agitation is characterized by emotional distress, aggressive behaviors, disruptive irritability, and disinhibition. Agitation in patients with AD has been associated with increased caregiver burden, decreased functioning, earlier nursing home placement, and increased mortality risk.
There are currently no therapies approved by the FDA for the treatment of agitation in patients with AD.