Is PTSD Another Form of Brain Injury?

Dr. Paul Aravich talks about PTSD and other serious mental disorders as types of brain injuries, which can come with an increased risk for dementia later in life.

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Now the other form of brain injury that we need to be talking about [Paul Aravich, PhD; Professor, Eastern Virginia Medical School] that is typically not talked about as a brain injury is post traumatic stress disorder. All of the serious mental disorders are themselves a different form of brain injury but nonetheless a brain injury. And at the world congress on Alzheimer's this past summer, some early data was reported that PTSD indeed can increase your risk for certain forms of dementia later on. Now as far as our military personnel are concerned, they have the same prejudices that people not in the military have, and there is a tremendous stigma against mental health kinds of issues. And so the person who is suffering the symptoms of PTSD and the family members who are experiencing those symptoms all too often won't seek the treatment that is potentially available to them, and they're putting themselves at risk for any number of really awful things including potentially an increased risk for some of the types of irreversible dementias that occur down the road.
Posted on BrainLine February 14, 2013.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough, Justin Rhodes, and Erica Queen, BrainLine.