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PTSD May Double the Risk of Dementia

Oct, 2020

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According to new research, PTSD does increase the risk of dementia, however, dementia also increases the risk of delayed-onset PTSD.

The research team at University College London has conducted the world's first meta-analysis of the association between dementia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the researchers, individuals who have experienced PTSD are up to twice as expected to develop dementia. A study involving more than a million individuals found that PTSD can double the risk of dementia later in life. The research was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry. PTSD is a mental health condition that arises from a terrible event, leading to nightmares, flashbacks, and severe anxiety.

The condition may last months or years. The research has shown dementia to be the biggest global health challenge of the 21st century. Around 50 million individuals across the globe are currently suffering from the condition, and the number is expected to triple by 2050. A recent meta-analysis found evidence of a bi-directional link between dementia and PTSD. According to new research, PTSD does increase the risk of dementia, however, dementia also increases the risk of delayed-onset PTSD.

During this research, the researchers examined findings from 13 studies, including data from more than 1.69 million folks, examining whether PTSD is associated with an increased risk of dementia. The team found that PTSD is linked with a 61% higher risk of developing dementia. Moreover, the team found that the rate of dementia in veterans (a person who has had long service or experience) with PTSD was lower than that observed in the general population. According to the researchers, the new research may suggest proactive treatment for PTSD may lower the risk of dementia, as veterans are more likely to receive treatment for PTSD than those from the general population.

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