Behavioral symptoms in Alzheimer's disease: phenomenology and treatment

J Clin Psychiatry. 1987 May;48 Suppl:9-15.


Limited information is available regarding the incidence, nature, and treatment of behavioral problems in Alzheimer's disease (AD). A chart review of 57 outpatients with a diagnosis of AD was conducted to examine these issues. Thirty-three (58%) patients had significant behavioral symptomatology (most commonly delusions, nonspecific agitation, and diurnal rhythm disturbances). Twenty-seven were treated with thioridazine (10-250 mg/day), 15 (55.6%) of whom were judged to have a positive response (mean maximum dose = 55 mg/day). Information regarding the characteristic phenomenology of the behavioral symptoms studied was used to design a clinical rating instrument for AD patients, the Behavioral Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease Rating Scale (BEHAVE-AD), which should be useful in prospective studies of behavioral symptoms as well as in pharmacologic trials.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Alzheimer Disease / diagnosis*
  • Alzheimer Disease / drug therapy
  • Alzheimer Disease / psychology
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Delusions / diagnosis
  • Delusions / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Psychometrics
  • Psychomotor Agitation / diagnosis
  • Psychomotor Agitation / psychology
  • Thioridazine / therapeutic use


  • Thioridazine