Online Program

Caregiver Burden in Frontotemporal Dementia Compared to Early-Onset Alzheimer's Disease

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 11:30 a.m. - 11:50 a.m.

Elvira Jimenez, MPH, Community Health Sciences, UCLA Fielding School of Public health, Los Angeles, CA
Jill Shapira, NP, PhD, 11301 Wilshire Blvd, VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System, Los Angeles, CA
Fernando M. Torres-Gil, PhD, School of Public Affairs/Social Welfare and Public Policy, Los Angeles, CA
Steven P. Wallace, PhD, UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, Los Angeles, CA
Li-Jung Liang, PhD, Department of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
Michelle Mather, MA, UCLA Department of Neurology/David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, los Angeles, CA
Mario Mendez, MD, PhD, UCLA Department of Neurology/David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, los Angeles, CA
Behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) is a debilitating illness that has particularly profound effects on caregivers because of the socioemotional impairment of the patients who are typically under age 65.  We studied 48 caregivers of the two most common neurodegenerative early onset dementias, bvFTD and early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (EOAD).  Individuals with bvFTD exhibit severe impairment in socioemotional behavior, which impacts their relationships with their caregivers.  In contrast, EOAD sufferers exhibit  memory-related impairments that have a different impact on caregivers. Compared to the EOAD patients, the bvFTD patients had more socially-impairing psychiatric symptoms on the Neuropsychiatric Inventory and more emotional blunting on the Scale of Emotional Blunting.   Compared to EOAD caregivers, bvFTD caregivers reported greater burden on the Zarit Burden Interview with some of the most burdensome items involving social relationships.  Hence, in bvFTD caregiving, the burden goes beyond the usual tasks of caring for a dementia patient and includes coping with the impact of the characteristic social and emotional disturbances of bvFTD.  The findings of this study have implications on how to target effective support for the profoundly burdened caregivers of patients with bvFTD.  Support strategies for this disease need to be considered to address the differences in patient characteristics and caregiver need.

Learning Areas:

Clinical medicine applied in public health

Learning Objectives:
Identify caregiver socioemotional consequences in Behavioral variant Frontotemporal dementia.

Keyword(s): Dementia, Caregivers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a Research coordinator for an RO1 project focusing on bvFTD. My interest in the project include caregiving in early-onset dementia.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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