With approximately four million people in the United States today diagnosed with dementia, one of the most devastating problems faced by caregivers and patients is dealing with aggressive behavior. Aggression occurs in half of persons diagnosed with dementia and is associated with more rapid cognitive decline, increased risk of abuse, and caregiver burden. This paper uses the Need-driven Dementia-compromised Behavior (NDB) model to explain aggression and discusses therapeutic approaches to care that combines non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions targeting both the management of aggression crisis and preventing its future recurrence. A clinical algorithm guided by the NBD model is provided for practitioners.
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