PTSD May Be Risk Factor for Dementia

Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 4, 2010

AIG, CNA, ACE’s denial of diagnoses and Treatment of PTSD may lead to Dementia


Older veterans with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for developing dementia, even if they had not been wounded in battle, researchers found.

Their risk of dementia was double that of veterans who did not have PTSD, including those who had received the Purple Heart, according to Mark E. Kunik, MD, MPH, of the Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center in Houston, and colleagues.

But although the study sample was large — more than 10,000 former service members — it would be premature to conclude that PTSD causes dementia, the researchers cautioned in their study published online in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

“It could be that cognitive impairment in PTSD is an early marker of dementia, PTSD is an independent risk factor for dementia, or PTSD and dementia share a common risk factor such as low cognitive reserves,” Kunik and colleagues wrote.

“It is essential to determine whether risk of dementia can be reduced by treating PTSD effectively,” they added. “This could have enormous implications for veterans returning from [Iraq].”

Similar results were published earlier this year from another VA system-based data analysis.  Read the entire study here

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