Dementia Pathways. For Health & Social Care Professionals

What is Non-Cognitive Symptoms of Dementia? (NCS)

Non-Cognitive Symptoms of Dementia (NCS)

The majority of people with dementia will experience Non-Cognitive Symptoms of Dementia (NCS) at some time during their illness, particularly in the middle and later stages.

It is a particularly difficult aspect of the illness to manage and frequently results in admissions to long term care.

Behavioural symptoms: Usually identified on the basis of observation, symptoms include:

  • physical aggression
  • loud vocalisation
  • restlessness
  • agitation
  • wandering


Psychological symptoms: Usually assessed on the basis of interviews with patients and relatives; these symptoms include:

  • anxiety
  • depressive mood
  • hallucinations
  • delusions