Dementia Sufferer's Spouse at Higher Risk

LOGAN, Utah, May 10 (UPI) — U.S. researchers say the spouses of dementia sufferers may be at higher risk of also developing dementia.

Researchers at Utah State University in Logan, led by Dr. Maria Norton, also find the husbands of dementia sufferers appear to be at higher risk for developing dementia themselves than the wives of dementia sufferers.

The study, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, suggests the link already found between higher risks for health problems and depression among dementia caregivers — versus the caregivers of the physically impaired elderly — may also extend to the risk of dementia.

“Future studies are needed to determine how much of this association is due to caregiver stress compared to a shared environment,” Norton says in statement. “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.”

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