Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Post-traumatic stress disorder associated with dementia among older veterans

Date:
June 13, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Older veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appear more likely to develop dementia over a seven-year period than those without PTSD, according to a new study.

Older veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) appear more likely to develop dementia over a seven-year period than those without PTSD, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

PTSD is a common psychiatric symptom and often occurs in veterans returning from combat, according to background information in the article. As many as 17 percent of veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan are estimated to have PTSD, and 10 percent to 15 percent of Vietnam veterans had PTSD symptoms 15 years or longer after their return. Previous studies have associated PTSD with a wide variety of medical conditions in younger and middle-aged veterans, along with declines in cognitive (thinking, learning and memory) performance.

Kristine Yaffe, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, and San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and colleagues studied 181,093 veterans 55 years and older (average age 68.8, 96.5 percent men) between 1997 and 2000. Of these, 53,155 had PTSD and 127,938 did not.

Over seven years of follow-up, from 2000 to 2007, 31,107 (17.2 percent) of the veterans developed dementia. Veterans with PTSD had a 10.6 percent risk of developing dementia, whereas the risk among those without dementia was 6.6 percent.

Those with PTSD were still more likely to develop dementia when the analyses were adjusted for important differences, including demographic variables and other medical and psychiatric illnesses.

"There are several reasons why patients with PTSD may have an increased risk of developing dementia," the authors write. PTSD may contribute to the cause of dementia, or chronic stress may link the two conditions. Stress may damage the hippocampus, a brain area critical for memory and learning, or cause alterations in neurotransmitter and hormone levels that could precipitate dementia.

"The finding that PTSD is associated with a near doubling of the risk of dementia has important public health, policy and biological implications," the authors conclude. "It is important that those with PTSD are treated, and further investigation is needed to see whether successful treatment of PTSD may reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes, including dementia. In addition, it is critical to follow up patients with PTSD, especially if they are of an advanced age, to screen for cognitive impairment. Finally, mechanisms linking PTSD and dementia must be identified in hope of finding ways to improve the care and outcomes of patients with PTSD."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kristine Yaffe; Eric Vittinghoff; Karla Lindquist; Deborah Barnes; Kenneth E. Covinsky; Thomas Neylan; Molly Kluse; Charles Marmar. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Risk of Dementia Among US Veterans. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2010; 67 (6): 608-613

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Post-traumatic stress disorder associated with dementia among older veterans." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607165623.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, June 13). Post-traumatic stress disorder associated with dementia among older veterans. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607165623.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Post-traumatic stress disorder associated with dementia among older veterans." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100607165623.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

App Fights Jet Lag With The Power Of Math

Newsy (Apr. 13, 2014) Researchers at the University of Michigan have designed an app to fight jet lag by adjusting your body's light intake. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

Treatment Gaps Endangering Cops, Mentally Ill

AP (Apr. 10, 2014) As states slash funding for mental health services, police officers are interacting more than ever with people suffering from schizophrenia and other serious disorders of the mind. The consequences can be deadly. (April 10) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Teen Drinking Rates Linked To Alcohol Mentions In Pop Music

Newsy (Apr. 9, 2014) A University of Pittsburgh study found pop music that mentions alcohol is linked to higher drinking rates among teens. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins