Older married adults whose spouse has dementia are at significantly higher risk for developing dementia themselves, compared to similar older married adults whose spouse never develops dementia. This is the key finding of a study published today in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Informal dementia caregiving for a spouse is a natural marital obligation, and spousal caregivers often report positive feelings toward caregiving, yet it is difficult, requiring time, energy and usually physical exertion. Dementia caregivers have been shown to provide more assistance, and to report more personal sacrifices and stress, than those who care for physically-impaired elderly without dementia. While there are many published studies showing that dementia caregivers are at higher risk for health problems and depression, none have examined risk for dementia in the caregiver.
2,442 subjects (1,221 married couples) aged 65 and older from Northern Utah, USA, without dementia at onset were studied for up to 12 years to monitor for onset of dementia in husbands, wives or both. During this time, 125 cases of dementia only in the husband were diagnosed, 70 only in the wife, and 30 where both spouses were diagnosed (60 people).
The researchers, led by Dr. Maria Norton of Utah State University, USA, adjusted for socioeconomic status, a significant predictor of many health-related outcomes including dementia to control for shared environmental exposures that might influence risk for dementia in both spouses.
The results showed that incident dementia was significantly associated with older age, and having a spouse with dementia. Participants with a spouse who developed dementia were at a six times increased risk of developing dementia, net of the effect of age, gender, APOE genotype, and socioeconomic status, with higher risk in men (11.9) than women (3.7).
"Future studies are needed to determine how much of this association is due to caregiver stress compared to a shared environment," said Norton. "On the positive side, the majority of these individuals, with spouses who develop dementia, did not themselves develop dementia, therefore more research is needed to explore which factors distinguish those who are more vulnerable."
"Given the significant public health concern of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, and the upcoming shift in population age composition, continued research into the causes of dementia is urgent," concluded Norton.
Jennifer Beal | EurekAlert!
Study relating to materials testing Detecting damages in non-magnetic steel through magnetism
23.07.2018 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...
Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.
Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...
17.08.2018 | Event News
08.08.2018 | Event News
27.07.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Life Sciences
17.08.2018 | Event News
17.08.2018 | Materials Sciences