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Does Alzheimer disease affect mood and behavior?

Changes in mood and behavior, as well as memory loss and thinking, are frequently observed in those with Alzheimer disease, but differ greatly from one person to another. Depression, irritability, defensiveness, and social withdrawal are often noted in the early stages. Suspiciousness, paranoia, and visual hallucinations may develop in the later stages. Various degrees of hyperactivity, agitation, wandering, and sleep disturbances may also occur. These behavioral symptoms can sometimes be improved by thoughtful modifications of interpersonal interactions or changes in the environment. Medications may also be helpful.