Combat veterans who constantly suffer from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have an increased risk of developing dementia in their old age, a new report which will be published in this month's Archives of General Psychiatry reveals.
Researchers from San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center made an extensive study of more than 181,000 war veterans who were 55 years and above with more than 53,000 suffering from PTSD.
After a period of seven years, the researchers found that around 31,000 of the total veterans had developed dementia of which 10.6 percent belonged to veterans suffering from PTSD while the remaining 6.6 percent belonged to those who did not suffer from PTSD.
"The finding that PTSD is associated with a near doubling of the risk of dementia has important public health, policy and biological implications. 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", the researchers said.