Vocalization in dementia: A case report and review of the literature

Arkady Yusupov, James E. Galvin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background: Vocalizations are part of the spectrum of the 'negative' behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). We describe a patient with moderate-stage mixed dementia of Alzheimer's disease and cerebrovascular disease and a left orbitofrontal lesion exhibiting vocalization. The use of 'redirection' has been demonstrated to be an effective nonpharmacological means of controlling BPSD, while reducing caregiver distress. Case Report: A 78-year-old right-handed African-American female presented with complaints of worsening memory and BPSD, causing significant caregiver distress. Throughout the evaluation, she constantly vocalized her son's name and made a continuous grunting noise, correlating with increased anxiety/agitation. We utilized a redirection technique, which achieved the immediate reduction of the vocalization symptoms. Caregiver psychoeducation was provided allowing them to use the redirection technique at home. Conclusions: In patients with dementia exhibiting negative symptoms of BPSD, using nonpharmacologic techniques (i.e. redirection) may be indicated. Psychotropic medications rarely address negative BPSD symptoms, while simultaneously decreasing patient's quality of life. Nonpharmacologic approaches are beneficial as first-line therapy for negative BPSD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)126-133
Number of pages8
JournalCase Reports in Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Behavior and psychiatric symptoms of dementia
  • Caregiver distress
  • Dementia
  • Nonpharmacologic interventions
  • Vocalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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