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PTSD may double risk of dementia, new analysis finds

September 16, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

People who experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be twice as likely to have dementia later in life, according to a new study -- a finding with important implications for the coronavirus pandemic.

(CNN)People who experience post-traumatic stress disorder may be twice as likely to have dementia later in life, according to a new study -- a finding with important implications for the coronavirus pandemic.

"Our study provides important new evidence of how traumatic experiences can impact brain health, and how the long-term effects of trauma may impact the brain in many ways increasing vulnerability to cognitive decline and dementia," Orgeta said.

"I am not shocked at all that the most severe levels of stress, post traumatic stress disorder, is associated with dementia," said neurologist Dr. Richard Isaacson, founder of the Alzheimer's Prevention Clinic at NewYork-Presbyterian and Weill Cornell Medical Center, who was not involved in the study.

People with PTSD faced a 1% to 2% higher risk of dementia up to 17 years later, according to pooled data from eight of the studies.

It's not entirely clear why PTSD would bring on dementia, but many of the symptoms of the disorder, such as hypervigilance and re-experiencing the trauma would certainly put the brain on high alert, flooding it with stress hormones, the study suggested.

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