Utah researchers find caregivers’ attitudes critical in Alzheimer’s disease progression
By Wendy Leonard, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah is making some headway in Alzheimer’s research, finding that caregivers can do more to slow the progression of the disease than previously thought.
New results from Utah State University’s Cache County Dementia Progression Study show that how constructively caregivers approach the problems generated by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia can promote higher functioning among those who suffer.
“This study is a groundbreaking event in the fight against dementia, including Alzheimer’s, which has been so pervasively devastating for individuals and families, especially given the limited treatment options for patients and their families,” said JoAnn Tschanz, psychology professor at USU and lead author on the study.
“Except for psychiatric symptoms, few studies have examined how caregiver characteristics affect the rate of dementia progression, and our findings indicate significant associations between caregiver coping strategies and the rate of cognitive and functional decline in dementia,” Tschanz said.
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