Following the study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, a spokesperson for the Alzheimer's Research Trust confirmed that partners taking care of their spouses suffering from dementia are six times more prone to develop the condition themselves.
According to the medical experts, dementia is an unstable condition of mind, the symptoms of which include memory loss, agitation, mood swings and changes in personality.
The experts’ further claim that, caring for the people suffering with dementia is extremely stressful as the behavior of the partners becomes erratic, even abusive.
Maria Norton of Utah State University undertook a study and is the first to examine the risk for dementia in caregivers.
The study which was conducted on 2,442 subjects without dementia was examined for up to 12 years to monitor for the onset of symptoms. Out of the total 1,221 were married couples, aged 65 years and older.
As per the findings of the study, from the couples 125 cases were diagnosed in man alone, and 70 in the woman alone. Further there were 30 more couples in which both the partners were affected by the condition.
The study concluded that the risk of onset of symptoms for the participants with a spouse who developed dementia increased nearly 12-fold for men and 3.7 fold for women.
Norton said in a press release that,’ future studies are needed to determine how much off this association is due to caregiver stress compared to a shared environment’.