Factors impacting Catecholamines in Caregivers of Patients with Dementia

Akemi Hirano (Shubun University, Faculty of Nursing)
Yusuke Suzuki (Centre for Community Liaison and Patient Consultations, Nagoya University Hospital, 65 Tsuruma, Showa, Nagoya, Aichi 466-8550, Japan)
Toshio Hayashi (Department of Community and In-Home Nursing, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Daiko-Minami, Higashi-ku, Nagoya, Aichi 461-8673, Japan)
Koichiro Ina (Department of Internal Medicine, Ina Clinic, 3-111 Hirabari, Tenpaku, Nagoya, Aichi 468-0011, Japan)
Joji Onishi (Department of Community Healthcare & Geriatrics, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, 65 Tsuruma, Showa, Nagoya, Aichi 466-8550, Japan)


Background: Caregivers of dementia patients have significantly higher levels of serum IL-6 and CRP compared to non-caregivers, and the accumulation of everyday stressors reportedly promotes the induction of inflammatory markers. However, few studies have identified factors that affect catecholamine levels in caregivers who experience a combination of physical and mental stress from caregiving.

Purpose: This study aimed to identify physical factors that impact catecholamine levels in caregivers of dementia patients.

Methods: Participants were elderly caregivers living together with elderly Alzheimer’s-type dementia patients. We performed logistic regression analysis, with levels of adrenaline, noradrenaline, and dopamine (indicators of catecholamine) as dependent variables.

Results: Caregiver BMI had a significant impact on adrenaline levels (OR: 0.792; 95%CI: 0.654-0.960) and noradrenaline levels (OR: 1.210; 95%CI: 1.009-1.451), whereas age had a significant impact on dopamine levels (OR: 1.162; 95%CI: 1.019-1.324).

Discussion: While caregiver BMI significantly impacted adrenaline and noradrenaline levels, the mechanism underlying these relationships is unclear. One possibility is that obesity (BMI) and a rise in sympathetic nerve activity contributed to hypertension. Our findings suggest that chronic stress in elderly caregivers may potentially impair the dopaminergic activation system in the brain.

Conclusion: There is a need to identify factors which increase BMI in caregivers. Future studies aimed at gaining a better understanding of the lifestyle habits of caregivers and intervention studies aimed at reducing their BMI are warranted.


Age;BMI;Caregiver burden;Catecholamine;Dementia

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.30564/jgm.v3i1.2712


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