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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(3), 286; doi:10.3390/ijerph13030286

Depressive Mood and Testosterone Related to Declarative Verbal Memory Decline in Middle-Aged Caregivers of Children with Eating Disorders

Department of Psychobiology, University of Valencia, Avenida Blasco Ibañez, 2146010 Valencia, Spain
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 17 September 2015 / Revised: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 1 March 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress Biomarkers)
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Abstract

Caring for children diagnosed with a chronic psychological disorder such as an eating disorder (ED) can be used as a model of chronic stress. This kind of stress has been reported to have deleterious effects on caregivers’ cognition, particularly in verbal declarative memory of women caregivers. Moreover, high depressive mood and variations in testosterone (T) levels moderate this cognitive decline. The purpose of this study was to characterize whether caregivers of individuals with EDs (n = 27) show declarative memory impairments compared to non-caregivers caregivers (n = 27), using for this purpose a standardized memory test (Rey’s Auditory Verbal Learning Test). Its purpose was also to examine the role of depressive mood and T in memory decline. Results showed that ED caregivers presented high depressive mood, which was associated to worse verbal memory performance, especially in the case of women. In addition, all caregivers showed high T levels. Nonetheless, only in the case of women caregivers did T show a curvilinear relationship with verbal memory performance, meaning that the increases of T were associated to the improvement in verbal memory performance, but only up to a certain point, as after such point T continued to increase and memory performance decreased. Thus, chronic stress due to caregiving was associated to disturbances in mood and T levels, which in turn was associated to verbal memory decline. These findings should be taken into account in the implementation of intervention programs for helping ED caregivers cope with caregiving situations and to prevent the risk of a pronounced verbal memory decline. View Full-Text
Keywords: caregivers; declarative memory; depressive mood; eating disorders; testosterone caregivers; declarative memory; depressive mood; eating disorders; testosterone
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Romero-Martínez, Á.; Ruiz-Robledillo, N.; Moya-Albiol, L. Depressive Mood and Testosterone Related to Declarative Verbal Memory Decline in Middle-Aged Caregivers of Children with Eating Disorders. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 286.

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