Cognitive Neuroscience


Dementia and geriatric cognitive disorders




Formal publication: May 2024

Authors: Montesinos, R., Custodio, B., Malaga, M., Chambergo-Michilot, D., Verastegui-Aranda, G., Agüero, K., Alejos-Zirena, J., Andamayo-Villalba, L., Seminario G, W., & Custodio, N.

Abstract: Introduction: People caring for patients with dementia are prone to suffering from burden. Behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD) may have an impact on caregiver burden. In Latin American countries, there is a lack of research on caregiver burden. We aimed to determine which BPSD have the greatest impact on caregiver burden among Peruvian patients with dementia and to compare the effects of BPSD on caregiver burden across different types of dementia.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on 231 patients living with Alzheimer’s dementia (AD), behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD), dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), and vascular dementia (VD) and their caregivers who attended a Peruvian memory clinic. BPSD were assessed with the Neuropsychiatric Inventory (NPI). Caregiver burden was assessed with the Zarit Burden Inventory. We used analysis of variance to compare the AD, bvFTD, DLB, and VD groups. Correlations between Zarit Burden Inventory and NPI subscale scores were assessed with Spearman’s correlation.

Results: DLB caregivers had significantly higher levels of burden than the other patient groups (p < 0.05) and higher total NPI scores than caregivers for other patient groups (p < 0.05). bvFTD caregivers had significantly higher total NPI scores than AD and VD caregivers (p < 0.05). Hallucinations, aberrant motor behavior, and apathy were the symptoms most significantly correlated with caregiver burden in those caring for DLB, bvFTD, and AD patients, respectively.

Conclusion: Neuropsychiatric symptoms are higher in DLB caregivers. Hallucinations, aberrant motor behavior, and apathy are the main symptoms correlated with burden.