Dr. Khachaturian highlighted the importance of noncognitive symptoms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) for the care providers versus our current lack of knowledge about these symptoms' origin, their relationship with cognitive loss, and our ability to control them. Our relatively greater understanding of the pathophysiology of cognitive loss is not yet matched with respect to non-cognitive symptoms, explaining the hit-and-miss treatment approaches currently in use. It is thus essential to study the underlying biological basis of noncognitive changes in AD. Nonpharmacological approaches to the management of noncognitive symptoms in later stages of AD such as teaching of coping strategies must be encouraged, because they may have a major impact on the
patient and the care providers. There is a relative paucity of instruments and clear outcome variables for noncognitive symptoms, including quality of life, which will have to be defined as related to the patient or to caregivers. Such symptoms should be studied in a holistic way in order to treat the underlying pathophysiological process rather than just suppressing unacceptable behaviors such as agitation. Although noncognitive symptoms in later stages of AD are important, from a national research strategy perspective, priority should be given to delaying onset of symptoms by some 10 years. Humane and ethical considerations must always predominate in research on treatment for later stages of AD.