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Analysis of the Expectation of Stem Cell Therapy in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease

Analysis of the Expectation of Stem Cell Therapy in Patients with Alzheimer’s Disease
Alzheimer’s disease; caregiver; stem cell therapy
Issue Date
Dementia and Neurocognitive Disorders(대한치매학회지), v. 15, NO. 4, Page. 129-134
Background and Purpose Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common form of dementia which typically manifests as loss of memory and cognitive functions. Currently, available treatments for AD provide only symptomatic improvement and the benefit is minimal. Stem cell therapy (SCT) has been considered a promising treatment option for AD. We investigated the caregiver’s perception about implementation of SCT in their AD patients, and determined the factors related to SCT. Methods A total of 100 caregivers, who cared for their AD patients, were interviewed at two hospitals. Structured open and closed questions about SCT for AD were asked by trained interviewers using the conventional in-person method. In addition, 60 dementia-related physicians were randomly interviewed via an e-mail questionnaire. Results Of the 100 subjects, 61 caregivers replied that they wanted their AD patients to receive SCT. Approximately 50% of the caregivers expected high improvement in cognitive function, behavioral and psychological symptoms, and activities of daily living, and physical improvements among their AD patients. However, physicians had much lower expectations of improvements in the above parameters. Multivariate analysis revealed that female gender [odds ratio (OR): 3.747, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.425–9.851] and familiarity with stem cells (OR: 3.873, 95% CI: 1.290–11.622) were independently associated with caregivers’ desire that their AD patients should undergo SCT. The major source of information on SCT was television (76.7%), and the most reliable source of information on SCT was physicians (83.6%). Conclusions In this study, many caregivers of AD patients fantasized and overestimated the need for SCT in comparison with physicians’ expectation. Therefore, it is necessary for physicians to develop strategies for educating caregivers about the appropriate risks and benefits of SCT.
1738-1495; 2384-0757
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