Spouses are slightly more likely than adult children to be the primary caregivers for Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients, according to Consumer Health Sciences' Alzheimer's Disease Caregiver Project. They also influence the type of care AD patients receive. In surveying 1,504 caregivers, the study found that caregiver spouses were more likely than adult children to see disease information from pharma companies and other sources, such as the Alzheimer's Association, and to consult specialists rather than primary care physicians for treatment.
% of AD patients receivng Rx
As a result, 62 percent of patients with spouse caregivers took AD-specific treatments such as Aricept (donepezil), Exelon (rivastigmine), and Reminyl (galantamine), while only 40 percent of patients with adult children caregivers were prescribed those products. And patients with spouse caregivers were less likely to go untreated-only 18 percent failed to receive any medication, compared with 32 percent of patients whose adult children were primary caregivers.