This study examines cortisol profiles in caregivers of dementia patients and their relationship to patients' behavioral problems. Salivary cortisol profiles and cortisol response to awakening were measured in 57 caregivers and 55 noncaregiver comparison subjects. Caregivers showed significantly higher levels of cortisol at the time of morning awakening than did comparison subjects, with a smaller increase after awakening. A higher cortisol awakening response was found in caregivers of patients with high versus low levels of behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD). Elevated morning cortisol levels could predispose caregivers to negative health consequences, with caregivers of patients with BPSD at greater risk.
|Journal||Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2005|