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Exploring the Diagnosis and Management of Agitation in Alzheimer's Disease: An Assessment of Practice

  • Authors: George T. Grossberg, MD
  • CME / ABIM MOC Released: 1/23/2023
  • Valid for credit through: 1/23/2024
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  • Credits Available

    Physicians - maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™

    ABIM Diplomates - maximum of 0.25 ABIM MOC points

    You Are Eligible For

    • Letter of Completion
    • ABIM MOC points

Target Audience and Goal Statement

This activity is intended for primary care professionals (including primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and gerontologists), neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and other healthcare professionals as well as patients or care partners involved in the care of patients with AAD.

The goal of this activity is for learners to be better able to self-assess their ability to recognize and manage AAD.

Upon completion of this activity, participants will:

  • Have increased knowledge regarding the
    • Symptoms of AAD
  • Self-assess learning needs related to
    • Agents in development for the management of AAD


Medscape, LLC requires every individual in a position to control educational content to disclose all financial relationships with ineligible companies that have occurred within the past 24 months. Ineligible companies are organizations whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients.

All relevant financial relationships for anyone with the ability to control the content of this educational activity are listed below and have been mitigated. Others involved in the planning of this activity have no relevant financial relationships.

Disclosures for additional planners can be found here.


  • George T. Grossberg, MD

    Professor and Director
    Division of Geriatric Psychiatry
    Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience
    St. Louis University School of Medicine
    St. Louis, Missouri


    George T. Grossberg, MD, has the following relevant financial relationships:
    Consultant or advisor for: Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Avanir Pharmaceuticals; Axsome Therapeutics, Inc.; Biogen; BioXcel Therapeutics; Genentech; Karuna Therapeutics; Lundbeck, Inc.; Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.; Roche; Takeda
    Speaker or member of speakers bureau for: Acadia Pharmaceuticals Inc. (former); Biogen (former)
    Research funding from: Janssen; Lilly
    Other: Safety Monitoring Committees: Anavex Life Sciences Corp.; EryDel SPA – P.I.; Intra-Cellular Therapies, Inc.; Merck; Newron Pharmaceuticals SPA


  • Frances McFarland, PhD, MA

    Medical Education Director, Medscape, LLC


    Frances McFarland, PhD, MA, has no relevant financial relationships.

  • Megan Breuer, PhD

    Medical Writer, WebMD Global, LLC


    Megan Breuer, PhD, has the following relevant financial relationships:
    Consultant/advisor: Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    Owns stock (publicly traded) in: Bristol Myers Squibb Company; Johnson and Johnson; Paratek Pharmaceuticals, Inc; Vertex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Compliance Reviewer

  • Stephanie Corder, ND, RN, CHCP

    Associate Director, Accreditation and Compliance, Medscape, LLC


    Stephanie Corder, ND, RN, CHCP, has no relevant financial relationships.

Peer Reviewer

This activity has been peer reviewed and the reviewer has no relevant financial relationships.

Accreditation Statements

In support of improving patient care, Medscape, LLC is jointly accredited with commendation by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

    For Physicians

  • Medscape, LLC designates this enduring material for a maximum of 0.25 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™ . Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

    Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 0.25 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit. Aggregate participant data will be shared with commercial supporters of this activity.

    Contact This Provider

For questions regarding the content of this activity, contact the accredited provider for this CME/CE activity noted above. For technical assistance, contact [email protected]

Instructions for Participation and Credit

There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this online educational activity. For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.

This activity is designed to be completed within the time designated on the title page; physicians should claim only those credits that reflect the time actually spent in the activity. To successfully earn credit, participants must complete the activity online during the valid credit period that is noted on the title page. To receive AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™, you must receive a minimum score of 75% on the post-test.

Follow these steps to earn CME/CE credit*:

  1. Read about the target audience, learning objectives, and author disclosures.
  2. Study the educational content online or print it out.
  3. Online, choose the best answer to each test question. To receive a certificate, you must receive a passing score as designated at the top of the test. We encourage you to complete the Activity Evaluation to provide feedback for future programming.

You may now view or print the certificate from your CME/CE Tracker. You may print the certificate, but you cannot alter it. Credits will be tallied in your CME/CE Tracker and archived for 6 years; at any point within this time period, you can print out the tally as well as the certificates from the CME/CE Tracker.

*The credit that you receive is based on your user profile.


Exploring the Diagnosis and Management of Agitation in Alzheimer's Disease: An Assessment of Practice

Authors: George T. Grossberg, MDFaculty and Disclosures

CME / ABIM MOC Released: 1/23/2023

Valid for credit through: 1/23/2024



  1. Porsteinsson AP, et al. An update on the advancements in the treatment of agitation in Alzheimer's disease. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2017;18:611-620.
  2. Carrarini C, et al. Agitation and dementia: prevention and treatment strategies in acute and chronic conditions. Front Neurol. 2021;12:644317.
  3. Bhoopatiraju S, et al. Emerging perspectives in the management of agitation in Alzheimer's disease and patients with dementia. touchREVIEWS Neurol. 2022;18:7-13.
  4. Husebo BS, et al. Pain treatment of agitation in patients with dementia: a systematic review. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2011;26:1012-1018.
  5. Mauleon AD, et al. Agitation in Alzheimer's disease: novel outcome measures reflecting the International Psychogeriatric Association (IPA) agitation criteria. Alzheimers Dement. 2021;17:1687-1697.
  6. Cummings, J. The neuropsychiatric inventory: development and applications. J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2020;33:73-84.
  7. Hermann N, et al. Randomized placebo-controlled trial of nabilone for agitation in Alzheimer's disease. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2019;27:1161-1173.
  8. Rosenberg PB, et al. Neuropsychiatric symptoms in Alzheimer's disease: what might be associated brain circuits? Mol Aspects Med. 2015;43-44:25-37.
  9. Ballard C, et al. Impact of person-centred care training and person-centred activities on quality of life, agitation, and antipsychotic use in people with dementia living in nursing homes: a cluster-randomised controlled trial. PLoS Med. 2018;15:e1002500.
  10. Ballard C, et al. Agitation and aggression in people with Alzheimer's disease. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2013;26:252-259.
  11. Antonsdottir IM, et al. Advancements in the treatment of agitation in Alzheimer's disease. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2015;16:1649-1656.
  12. Leng M, et al. Comparative efficacy of non-pharmacological interventions on agitation in people with dementia: a systematic review and Bayesian network meta-analysis. Int J Nurs Stud. 2020;102:103489.
  13. Atri A. The Alzheimer’s disease clinical spectrum diagnosis and management. Med Clin North Am. 2019;103:263-293.
  14. Ballard CG, et al. Evaluation of the efficacy of pimavanserin in the treatment of agitation and aggression in patients with Alzheimer's disease psychosis: A post hoc analysis. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2020;35:1402-1408.
  15. Grossberg GT, et al. Efficacy and safety of brexpiprazole for the treatment of agitation in Alzheimer's dementia: two 12-week, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2020;28:383-400.
  16. Garay RP, et al. AVP-786 for the treatment of agitation in dementia of the Alzheimer's type. Expert Opin Invest Drugs. 2017;26:121-132.
  17. Khoury R, et al. AVP-786 as a promising treatment option for Alzheimer's disease including agitation. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2021;22:783-795.
  18. van den Berg JF, et al. Electroconvulsive therapy for agitation and aggression in dementia: a systematic review. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2018;26:419-434.
  19. Ward K, et al. AXS-05: an investigational treatment for Alzheimer's disease-associated agitation. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2022;31:773-780.
  20. Porsteinsson A, et al. Effect of citalopram on agitation in Alzheimer disease: the CitAD randomized clinical trial. JAMA. 2014;311:682-691.
  21. Aga VM. When and how to treat agitation in Alzheimer's disease dementia with citalopram and escitalopram. Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2019;27:1099-1107.
  22. Reus VI, et al. The American Psychiatric Association Practice Guideline on the use of antipsychotics to treat agitation or psychosis in patients with dementia. Am J Psychiatry. 2016;173:543-546.
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