Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia in Latinos: Pharmacological, Non-pharmacological, and Ethnocultural Healthcare Interventions

  • Diana Lynn WoodsEmail author


Although it can be argued that the general knowledge base of how to effectively treat the behavioral symptoms of dementia (BSDs) is less than optimal, it is even more challenging to understand how to best treat BSDs in ethnic/racial minority groups, as in the case of Latinos. In this chapter, the inclusion of indigenous and other folk-based frameworks is discussed, as well as the potential for a greater accounting for cultural differences in the treatment of BSDs. This chapter provides an overview of the predominant interventions utilized in healthcare to treat patients with dementia, including Western-based methods of pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches. In the case of Latinos, the ethnocultural and traditional healing systems are promoted as those that can be integrated in the Western approaches. Central to appropriate use of pharmacological interventions are factors such as those that are epigenetic, gene-environment interactions, and genetic variations in different populations. When ethnic/racial status is considered for a Latino patient, it is the realm of ethnopharmacology that answers the call for more specific and tailored consideration of medications (e.g., psychotropics, for an aging Latino population). Non-pharmacological interventions are also reviewed and discussed for their range of effectiveness and their limitations being based on differing research protocols that cannot always provide predictive or definitive improved treatment outcomes. A call is made for more Latinos as research participants, as well as more interdisciplinary research studies for BSDs.


Behavioral Symptoms of Dementia Dementia Ethnocultural Healing Healthcare Interventions Latinos Pharmacology 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Azusa Pacific UniversityAzusaUSA
  2. 2.University of California Los Angeles,Los AngelesUSA

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