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Johns Hopkins Health - Ties that Bind

Winter 2010
Issue No. 7

Ties that Bind

Date: January 24, 2010

african american man and african american woman looking at each other smiling

With nearly 16 million cases projected by 2050, Alzheimer’s dementia remains a major public health problem in the United States.

But a recent Johns Hopkins study showed that Alzheimer’s patients with caregivers who felt emotionally close to them did very well with long-term prognoses. That was compared with patients whose caregivers did not rate the same feelings of closeness.

“It was intriguing that simply a strong emotional bond between caregiver and patient could have such a significant effect,” says psychiatrist Constantine Lyketsos, M.D., one of the study’s authors. The benefit was particularly strong when it related to spousal caregivers, he notes.

Lyketsos and other authors of the study are continuing to identify major factors that influence the progression of dementia, while also looking deeper into the caregiver-recipient relationship.


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