Study links constipation, aggression

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Depressive symptoms, delusions, hallucinations and even constipation were directly linked to physical aggression among nursing home residents with dementia, according to a new study reported in the June 26 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine.

At least 88,000 nursing home residents nationwide are physically aggressive every week, the study asserts. Staff and other residents bear the brunt of the aggression, which includes hitting, shoving, scratching or sexually abuse, according to lead researcher Dr. Ralph Leonard, of CALM-MD LLC, St. Louis Park, MN.

This was the first study to examine the effects of constipation, according to the study report. Researchers remain unsure why the link exists.