What are aggressive behaviors in people with dementia?

Sarah N. Mourra, MD
For people with dementia for whom physical aggression and safety may be an issue because behavioral issues have gotten to this point, or they are extremely irritable, leading to lashing-out episodes, doctors often use a anticonvulsant medication called valproic acid (Depakote). It’s used typically in high doses for seizure disorders. However, in lower doses, it can be very helpful for individuals with dementia who may be having a lot of these behavioral problems.
Linda Ercoli, PhD
Aggression in people with dementia is a range of behaviors. It can be yelling, or it could be something more threatening. It can get severe and include throwing things -- shoes or cups, for instance -- grabbing, pushing, slapping, kicking, spitting and even threatening with weapons or sharp objects.

Continue Learning about Dementia



Dementia refers to loss of cognitive function that affects memory along with the ability to think, solve problems and control emotions. Dementia itself is not a disease, but describes a group of symptoms caused by a brain disorder...

. There are numerous causes of dementia, including Alzheimer's disease, Huntingdon's disease and stroke. Since personality changes are common, living with dementia can be difficult for patients and caregivers alike. Learn more about dementia challenges and solutions with expert advice from Sharecare.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.