Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Caring for someone with dementia could cause dementia
USU research shows chronic stress may be the cause.
By Heather May
The Salt Lake Tribune

Spouses who care for partners with dementia are six times more likely to develop the disorder too, compared to healthy elderly couples, according to a Utah study.

It's possible that the incredible stress of watching their partner deteriorate, as well as taking care of their physical and emotional needs, impairs the brain of the caring spouse, according to the study. There may also be something in the couple's shared environment -- their diet and exercise patterns, or chemical exposures -- that explains the shared disease.

Past studies have linked dementia caregiving to depression, physical and cognitive problems and death. This study, published Wednesday in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society , is thought to be the first to look at the link with developing dementia...

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