Those who nurse a spouse with dementia are six times more likely to develop the devastating condition themselves, research shows.
It is thought the physical and mental stress of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s and other forms of the condition can do lasting damage to the brain’s memory centre.
Although all forms of caring are hard, watching the mental decline of dementia is particularly tough, say the researchers, with men feeling the effects particularly keenly.
With the number of people with dementia expected to explode as the population ages, they say a better understanding of the phenomenon is vital and call for more
research. The study team from Utah State University in the U.S. spent 12 years tracking the health of more than 1,200 couples who had been married for an average of 49 years.