PTSD may boost dementia risk in older vets

  1. Older veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are nearly twice as likely to develop dementia as their peers without PTSD, according to research released today.

    Dr. Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and her colleagues followed more than 180,000 veterans aged 55 and older for seven years. All were free from dementia at the study's outset, while about 30 percent had PTSD.

    Nearly 11 percent of the vets with PTSD developed dementia during follow-up, compared to only about 7 percent of those who didn't have PTSD.

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  3. by   Moogie
    As the wife someone with PTSD associated with his deployment to Iraq, this frightens me.

    Thank you for the article, sobering as it is.
  4. by   caliotter3
    Well, this is certainly encouraging. Something to look forward to.
  5. by   oramar
    Wonder if they made any attempts to separate the vets that suffered actual concussions and other physical trauma with their PTSD from the ones that had no physical trauma with PTSD. You see many vets have survived blast waves and such and it would be no surprise if they if the showed dementia signs because head trauma has been linked to dementia by other studies. Do we know if emotional trauma in the strickest sense can cause dementia? I suspect sever emotional trauma does cause damage to the brain (just think of how the heart rate and BP shoot up and all those hormones released) that could show up late in life as dementia. However, I have never seen a study that proves that it does. I think we really need to know.
  6. by   elkpark
    There have already been studies that have found that episodes of major depression signficantly increase the risk of dementia later on, so this is not really a big surprise.