Abstract and Keywords
Aggression and violence are often overlooked in the aging population. Changes in personality, behavior, and mood are well known in psychiatric disorders, but they are also seen in neurologic conditions, often where there is alteration in brain chemistry, as in metabolic disorders; or alteration in brain structure, as in degenerative disorders, strokes, subdural hematomas, and tumors; or with alteration in brain function, as in epileptic and nonconvulsive status. This chapter provides an overview of specific behaviors, the underlying neurochemistry and pathophysiology behind specific disorders, and some treatment approaches. The consequences of unrecognized and untreated behavioral changes in the elderly can have dire consequences on quality of life—for example, leading to early institutionalization. Regular follow-up that includes questions about behavior would allow for early work-up and treatment to prevent out-of-control escalation. Family education, support, caregiver relief, and prevention of complications can go a long way in improving the quality of life for patients and their families.
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