ANCHOR LEAD: WHO CARES FOR SOMEONE WITH ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE MAKES A DIFFERENCE, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
When the primary caregiver for a person who has Alzheimer’s disease feels emotionally close and connected to the person they’re taking care of, the disease doesn’t progress as quickly and life expectancy may be longer, a Johns Hopkins study has found. Constantine Lyketsos, an Alzheimer’s disease expert and senior author, explains.
LYKETSOS: What we’re finding is a fairly strong effect of caregiver closeness. What this means is that caregivers who rate themselves as closer to the person with dementia they’re looking after seem to affect dementia progression. If someone with dementia has a caregiver who rates the relationship with the patient as being close that patient seems to do better in the long term, and that’s especially true when the caregiver is a wife. :28
Lyketsos says researchers didn’t assess why caregiver closeness has such an impact but future analysis will look at this issue. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.