Document Type


Publication Date


Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


Background: Controversy exists about definition of agitation and especially about inclusion of aggression as a part of agitation in people with dementia.

Methods: Papers describing neurobiological indices related to behavioral symptoms of dementia were reviewed. Papers comparing indices in persons exhibiting aggression and persons exhibiting agitation were selected for this review.

Results: The survey found seven papers which compared neuroanatomical indices and three papers which compared neurochemical indices. The neuroanatomical indices differentiating agitation and aggression included changes in brain perfusion, sizes of brain areas, distribution of neurofibrillary tangles, and white matter changes. The neurochemical indices differentiating agitation and aggression included relationships with neurotransmitter variables and the cell count in the locus coeruleus.

Conclusion: Despite the small number of papers and some methodological problems, the presented information clearly indicates that aggression and agitation are two distinct unrelated syndromes in persons with dementia.

Rights Information

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Was this content written or created while at USF?


Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Neurological Research and Therapy, v. 2, issue 4, p. 28-36