Age Effects on Cognitive and Physiological Parameters in Familial Caregivers of Alzheimers Disease PatientsReportar como inadecuado

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Older familial caregivers of Alzheimer’s disease patients are subjected to stress-related cognitive and psychophysiological dysfunctions that may affect their quality of life and ability to provide care. Younger caregivers have never been properly evaluated. We hypothesized that they would show qualitatively similar cognitive and psychophysiological alterations to those of older caregivers.


The cognitive measures of 17 young 31–58 years and 18 old 63–84 years caregivers and of 17 young 37–57 years and 18 old 62–84 years non-caregiver controls were evaluated together with their salivary cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone DHEA levels, as measured by radioimmunoassays and ELISA assays of brain-derived neurotrophic factor BDNF in serum.


Although younger caregivers had milder impairments in memory and executive functions than older caregivers, their performances fell to the same or lower levels as those of the healthy older controls. Decreases in DHEA and BDNF levels were correlated with the cognitive dysfunctions observed in the older and younger caregivers, respectively. Cortisol at 10PM increased in both caregiver groups.


Younger caregivers were prone to cognitive impairments similar to older caregivers, although the degree and the neuropsychological correlates of the cognitive dysfunctions were somewhat different between the two groups. This work has implications for caregiver and care-recipient health and for research on the neurobiology of stress-related cognitive dysfunctions.

Autor: Márcio Silveira Corrêa, Bruno Lima Giacobbo, Kelem Vedovelli, Daiane Borba de Lima, Pamela Ferrari, Irani Iracema de Lima Argim



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