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Supplementary Material for: Imaging Care Requirements: Use of Functional Neuroimaging to Predict Dementia Caregiver Burden

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posted on 26.04.2018, 12:19 by Prosser A.M.J., Spreadbury J.H., Tossici-Bolt L., Kipps C.M.
Background: Dementia caregivers frequently report high stress, with increased burden associated with worse outcomes for both patients and caregivers. Although many studies relate clinical phenotypes to burden, the relationship between imaging pathology and burden, irrespective of diagnosis, is unknown. This study investigated the relationship between caregiver burden and patient regional cerebral blood flow in dementia. Methods: Seventy-sev en patients with cognitive impairment undergoing brain perfusion single-photon emission computed tomography imaging in normal clinical care and their caregivers were recruited. Caregiver burden was ranked from “little” to “severe” using the Zarit Burden Interview and perfusion values extracted from the patient images for predefined regions of interest. The associations between burden score and regional function on imaging were tested. Results: Burden score was significantly higher for caregivers of patients with abnormal perfusion compared to those with normal perfusion in the left and right frontal, right parietal, and right temporal lobes. No difference in burden was found in the left parietal or temporal groups. Correlations showed that a higher caregiver burden was associated with lower patient perfusion scores in the same regions. Conclusion: Caregiver burden is strongly related to the extent of frontal or right-predominant parietal or temporal lobe dysfunction. Regional abnormality on perfusion imaging can be used to facilitate identification of individuals who are likely to create a high burden on caregivers.