Is your spouse dementia?You are also at risk

Studies show that caregivers husbands and wives are at high risk dementia

Charlene Rhino
WebMD Health News

Was reviewed by
Louise Chan, MD

July 15, 2009 (Vienna, Austria)-The first study of this kind was dementia The risk of developing the disease is greatly increased dementia myself.

Researchers have tracked over 1200 couples in 10 years.They have a wife who took care of her husband dementia He was almost four times more likely to develop dementia than his wife, a man without dementia.

Dr. Maria Norton, an associate professor of Gerontology at Utah State University in Logan, said her husband’s caregiver was almost 12 times more likely to develop dementia than her husband in a healthy woman. It says that it was.

Dementia is not Infectious, of course. “However, stress It’s great to be involved in caring for a spouse with dementia. ” stress It is a known risk factor for dementia, says psychiatrist Ralph Nixon, MD. Alzheimer’s disease An expert at New York University Alzheimer’s disease Association.

People who are stressed are less likely to eat a healthy diet diet And motion, Both are important brain Health, he talks to WebMD. Nixon was not involved in the study.

The study was published in Alzheimer’s disease Association 2009 International Conference Alzheimer’s disease..

Norton told WebMD, “You might think that a couple’s shared environment can explain the findings, but we have a shared environment, education, and Genetics, And excluded all those factors. “

Why is a husband’s caregiver at a much higher risk of developing dementia than a wife’s caregiver?

Norton believes that older men tend to rely on their wives to maintain social ties with relatives and friends. “When my wife has dementia, her social support system shrinks,” she says.

Norton also says that men often cannot go to the doctor without even touching their wife.This puts them at high risk cholesterol, High blood pressure, And other conditions that may increase the risk of dementia.

No matter how sick your spouse is, be careful of your own health, she advises.

Norton provides this advice to adult children with dementia.

  • Visit frequently and Long-term care A parent from his or her duty so that he or she can rest a little.
  • Make sure that healthy parents are out and engaged in social activities.
  • Make sure your parents go to the doctor on a regular basis.

“We tend to raise the sick, but you need to be aware of the burden. Long-term care We support healthy parents, “she says.

Source: Alzheimer’s Association 2009 International Conference Alzheimer’s disease, Austria, Vienna, July 11-16, 2009. Dr. Maria Norton, Associate Professor of Gerontology at Utah State University Logan. Dr. Ralph Nixon, Vice Chairman of the Alzheimer’s Association Medical Advisory Committee. Professor of Psychiatry and Cell Biology, New York University.

© 2009 WebMD, LLC. all rights reserved.


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Is your spouse dementia?You are also at risk

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