for people ages 55 years and up (full criteria)
at La Jolla, California
study started
estimated completion
Brent T Mausbach



This study evaluates the effectiveness of Behavioral Activation (BA) therapy vs Support and Information for reducing risk for emotional and cardiovascular diseases in Alzheimer's caregivers. Half of participants will receive BA and the other half will receive support and information.


The burden of caring for a loved-one with Alzheimer's disease is associated with adverse psychological and general health consequences for the caregiver. These consequences including risk for depression, cardiovascular disease, and earlier mortality. Because preliminary work has demonstrated that an educational programs for caregivers reduce the negative affect associated with caregiving, the investigators wish to determine whether improving mood can also modify pathophysiological changes that have been linked to risk for developing cardiovascular disease.

The investigators aims are to determine whether a 6-week Behavioral Activation (BA) intervention, followed by 3 booster sessions over a period of 6 months, compared to an Information-Support (IS) intervention will be associated with significant improvement in indicators of vascular pathology, modification of psychobiological markers that have been associated with cardiovascular parameters, and to determine whether improvements in indicators of vascular parameters will be mediated by treatment related change in measures of distress and markers of cardiovascular disease risk.


Alzheimer DiseaseAlzheimer DementiaAlzheimer's DiseaseDementiaCaregiverCardiovascular DiseaseStressDepressionAnxietyHeart DiseaseCarerCare GiverCaregivingPsychotherapyTherapyBehavioral ActivationEducationInterventionCBTCognitive-Behavior TherapyInformation and Support


You can join if…

Open to people ages 55 years and up

  • Aged 55 years or older.
  • Providing in-home care to a spouse with dementia.

You CAN'T join if...

  • Taking Coumarin anticoagulants.
  • Taking nitrates or niacin.
  • Taking non-selective β-blockers.
  • Glucocorticoid use in the 2 weeks prior to enrollment.
  • Taking Aldomet or labetalol.
  • Neither the caregiver nor Alzheimer's patient can be diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of less than 1 year
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Caregivers enrolled in another intervention study or receiving psychotherapy to improve well-being or reduce distress
  • Blood pressure >200/120 mm Hg


  • University of California San Diego accepting new patients
    La JollaCalifornia92093United States

Lead Scientist


accepting new patients
Start Date
Completion Date
University of California, San Diego
Alzheimer's Caregiver Study
Study Type
Last Updated