Here’s a worrisome finding. Having a diagnosis of PTSD is positively associated with an increased risk of developing dementia.
According to a recent study published in Alzheimers and Dementia Kristine Yaffe, MD, from the University of California San Francisco led a group of researchers as they tracked over 180,000 veterans aged 55 and older from 2001 to 2007.
Approximately 53,000 of these veterans had been diagnosed with PTSD, while the remaining 128,000 had no PTSD diagnosis.
At the end of that period, 10.6% of the veterans who had been diagnosed with PTSD also developed dementia, while only 6.6% of the other veterans developed it.
And, these results did not substantially change when controlling for such factors as histories of substance abuse, depression or traumatic brain injury.
You’re looking at nearly a 40% greater incidence of dementia for those who were previously diagnosed with PTSD.
This study adds to the growing wealth of information concerning the long term effects of trauma on the body.
And yet, there are so many new ways to help treat trauma.
Because PTSD is so pervasive and because a history of trauma is frequently associated with chronic disease, it is a topic that is brought up often in NICABM’s programs on trauma treatment.
Leave a comment below and tell us about your experience in treating patients with PTSD.