Older veterans with a history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are at increased risk for developing dementia

On Behalf of | Oct 10, 2010 | Uncategorized

For veterans with PTSD 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.    For the current study, Kunik and colleagues examined records of veterans seen at least twice from 1997 to 1999 in VA centers in the South Central U.S., who had either a diagnosis of PTSD at that time or had received the Purple Heart for combat-related wounds or injuries.
“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.  Similar results were published earlier this year from another VA system-based data analysis. 
Read more about the study at this link,  http://www.medpagetoday.com/PublicHealthPolicy/MilitaryMedicine/22032
This has implications for both for those seeking Social Security Disability(SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and  for our Elder law clients who are Veterans.
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