Neural correlates of caregiver burden in cortical basal syndrome and frontotemporal dementia.
Knutson KM., Zamboni G., Tierney MC., Grafman J.
AIMS: To determine areas of atrophy in patients that are associated with caregiver burden. METHODS: We measured caregiver burden, dementia and neuropsychiatric scores in 22 patients with corticobasal syndrome (CBS) and 25 with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), and in 14 healthy controls. We used voxel-based morphometry to correlate caregiver burden with gray matter loss. RESULTS: Increased dementia and behavioral disturbances contributed to higher burden scores in CBS patients, while behavioral disturbances alone significantly affected burden scores in frontal-variant FTD (FTD-fv) patients. In CBS patients, caregiver burden scores correlated with atrophy in left inferior and middle temporal gyri. CONCLUSIONS: Caregivers of FTD-fv patients had significantly higher burden scores than caregivers of CBS patients. Damage to areas important in semantic knowledge appears critical in increased burden for CBS caregivers.