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Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia

Art Walaszek, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-61537-168-6
  • Item #37168
Hear the voices behind the most prominent psychiatric scholarship. Listen to Psychiatry Unbound.
Join Dr. Laura Roberts as she welcomes Dr. Art Walaszek, a board-certified geriatric psychiatrist and an expert in the field of dementia to Unbound.

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The number of geriatric psychiatrists, specialty fellowships, and practices has been declining relative to the increase in the number of older adults in the United States; critical shortages in care are the new norm. Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia was designed to address this predicament by enabling primary care providers to access a solid knowledge base and the clinical experience required to meet the needs of their patients with dementia. The author has written a concise yet comprehensive book that covers the full range of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) encountered by patients, families, caregivers, and primary care providers. In addition, the book provides the necessary foundation for distinguishing the different types of dementia, critical elements of patient history needed to develop an appropriate treatment approach, and the basic medical examinations and lab work that should be performed. Each chapter begins with a brief precis; well-written descriptions of the major topic follow. The chapters explore the common types of behavioral and emotional symptoms and the important associated system issues relevant to dementia care, including elder abuse reporting, creation of advance directives and power of attorney arrangements, safety planning, and caregiver support.
The book's strengths are many

  • Carefully chosen, realistic case examples bring the material to life in a vivid, compelling way.
  • An up-to-date review of the literature is presented, striking an appropriate balance between new and promising findings and current standard-of-care practices. The book also identifies significant gaps in the literature.
  • Standard-of-care pharmacological and psychosocial approaches in the management of BPSD are offered with a realistic understanding of the benefits and difficulties of implementing each.
  • Relevant information on complementary medicine is included, and the book covers personality, cultural, and spiritual domains so that the reader is cognizant of the whole-person approach in delivering dementia care.
  • Each chapter includes key points for quick and easy reference and resources to share with patients, families, and caregivers—a boon to the busy clinician.
  • Although intended as a practical guide for clinicians in a variety of fields, those in academia who specialize in geriatric medicine or psychiatry will find the book a useful way to organize and teach this material to students, residents, and fellows.

Pragmatic and clinically oriented, Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
will help primary care practitioners provide informed, compassionate care to older adults at risk for, or exhibiting, BPSD.


  • Foreword
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Overview of Dementia
  • Chapter 2. Comprehensive Management of Dementia
  • Chapter 3. Introduction to Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
  • Chapter 4. Assessment of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
  • Chapter 5. Management of Behavioral and Psychological Symptoms of Dementia
  • Chapter 6. Management of Other Threats to Safety
  • Chapter 7. Ethical and Legal Considerations
  • Appendix: Pre-appointment Form

About the Authors

Art Walaszek, M.D., is Professor, Vice Chair for Education and Faculty Development, and Residency Training Director in the Department of Psychiatry, Co-leader of Outreach, Recruitment and Education Core at the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, and Public Health Pillar Leader at the Wisconsin Alzheimer's Institute of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.

This is a terrific overview of assessing and managing the psychological and behavioral symptoms that 90 percent of dementia patients experience. Each chapter offers high-impact tables, cases, and brief reviews of key points for reference. The author goes one step further to highlight which areas of dementia management are not well researched. This is an excellent addition for primary care physicians or psychiatrists wanting an up-to-date, thorough, yet concise review of comprehensive dementia management.—Daniel M Tuinstra, M.D., Doody's Book Reviews

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