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Kathy Marshack News

Link Between PTSD and Dementia

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD is the term applied to psychological and emotional problems that develop as the result of experiencing any serious, traumatic event. Recent studies are focusing attention on the long-term effects of PTSD and have found a link between PTSD and dementia.

The study focused on war veterans. Out of 180,000 veterans, 53,155 had been diagnosed with PTSD. Over a 7 year period, 17.2 percent developed dementia. The reason for the greater risk of dementia may be due to the chronic stress of PTSD. That type of stress could cause damage to an area of the brain which is critical for memory and/or affect the neurotransmitters. For more on this study, read the article PTSD Nearly Doubles Risk of Dementia.

You don't have to be a veteran to be affected by PTSD. If you feel like you do have PTSD, I highly recommend speaking to a mental health care professional. Without treatment, the problem intensifies over the years – causing greater and greater distress. Fortunately, PTSD is very responsive to a variety of psychotherapies. In individual therapy, the survivor can learn a new perspective on the past. With the gentle support of an experienced psychotherapist, you will find new and healthier ways to put old memories to rest. Please visit the Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder page on my website for symptoms of PTSD and therapy recommendations. 


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