Caregivers who are trained in responding to anxiety or aggression in people with dementia can effectively reduce those symptoms, studies find. iStockphoto hide caption

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About 1 in 3 patients with dementia who live in nursing homes are being sedated with antipsychotic drugs, the GAO says. Outside nursing homes, about 1 in 7 dementia patients are getting the risky drugs. Wladimir Bulgar/iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption Wladimir Bulgar/iStockphoto

Greg O'Brien gathers his thoughts before a run in 2013. "Running is essential," he says. Michael Strong/Living With Alzheimers hide caption

itoggle caption Michael Strong/Living With Alzheimers

Greg O'Brien (left), with Colleen, Mary Catherine, Conor, and Brendan O'Brien, has been grappling with Alzheimer's disease for the last five years. Courtesy Greg O'Brien hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Greg O'Brien

When he was 59 years old, Greg O'Brien was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Five years later, he is speaking publicly about his experience, even as his symptoms worsen. Courtesy of Greg O'Brien hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Greg O'Brien

Marian Grunwald (from left), Earl Elfstrom and Verna Matheson bounced a balloon back and forth with nursing assistant Rick Pavlisich on Dec. 13, 2013, at an Ecumen nursing home in Chisago City, Minn. Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune, Minneapolis St. Paul hide caption

itoggle caption Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune, Minneapolis St. Paul

Antipsychotic drugs aren't necessary in the vast majority of dementia cases, gerontologists say. The pills can be stupefying and greatly raise the risk of falls — and hip fracture. iStockphoto hide caption

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A tangle of protein (green) in this scanning electron micrograph of a brain cell of an Alzheimer's patient lies within the cytoplasm (blue) of the cell. The tangle consists of clumps of a toxic form of tau. Thomas J. Deerinck/Corbis hide caption

itoggle caption Thomas J. Deerinck/Corbis

Loretta Jackson gently stretches the hands of her sister, Shirlene English, to aid physical rehabilitation after Shirlene's brain aneurysm and stroke. Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Nixon/Capital Public Radio