Supplementary Material for: Evaluating Patient Brain and Behavior Pathways to Caregiver Health in Neurodegenerative Diseases
2019-01-10T11:53:39Z (GMT) by
<b><i>Background:</i></b> Caregivers of patients with neurodegenerative diseases are at heightened risk for serious health problems, but health differences between individual caregivers abound. <b><i>Aims:</i></b> To determine whether atrophy in patient brains could be used to identify caregivers at heightened risk for health problems and which patient variables mediate this relationship. <b><i>Methods:</i></b> In 162 patient-caregiver dyads, we assessed patient atrophy using structural MRI, caregiver health, and patient behavior and cognitive symptoms. <b><i>Results:</i></b> Patient atrophy in the right insula and medial frontal gyrus was associated with worse caregiver health; this relationship was partially mediated by patient neuropsychiatric symptoms, and assessing atrophy in these regions improved predictions of poor caregiver health above and beyond patient behavioral symptoms. <b><i>Conclusions:</i></b> This study shows the value of patients’ brain data in identifying caregivers at risk for becoming sick themselves.