Veterans with Brain Injuries or PTSD Face a Greater Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

Veterans with Brain Injuries or PTSD Face a Greater Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease
Veterans Day has come and gone in the U.S. for another year. Proving that we’re a grateful nation, it was punctuated with speeches by dignitaries and pride-filled social media posts dedicated to the fathers, mothers, sisters, and brothers who serve, or have served, in one of the branches of the country's armed forces. Gratefulness for the more than 19.6 million former and active service members should extend beyond Nov. 11. A grateful nation should honor its veterans every day. But some of the country’s veterans are facing difficult obstacles that are directly related to their military service.

A staggering statistic

Men and women in the armed forces who have sustained traumatic brain injuries (TBI) have a greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. These soldiers, airmen, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and sailors are 60 percent more likely to develop the mind-altering condition, according to a 2014 study by researchers from the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco. The onset of dementia occurs two years earlier for veterans who have brain injuries compared with those who don’t.

Alzheimer's links to brain injury and PTSD 
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