A study has revealed that people who have been dealing with post-trauma stress disorder (PTSD) are at a greater risk of developing dementia later in life. In the study, experts have tried to find out serious implications of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic linked to the risk of PTSD. This disorder kicks in when a couple of symptoms of psychological distress interrupts people’s daily routine over a month. Experts have said that nearly a third of people in the US have been down with anxiety and symptoms of clinical depression as the nation is reeling from the effect of the ongoing COVID19 pandemic for over seven months. Researchers fear that the risk of doctors, nurses, frontline workers, and families being diagnosed with PTSD has increased due to pandemic linked trauma. A national public health group has reported that almost 75000 Americans might face death due to misuse of drugs and alcohol and a higher rate of suicide attempts amid the pandemic.
Experts have said that health workers, doctors, and families are at a higher risk of developing PTSD as they have lost their ill patients and loved ones, particularly if they have been on a ventilator. Michigan Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry has said that 35 percent of ventilator survivors experience PTSD symptoms for two subsequent years after the ICU care. A group of 24 health experts has said that symptoms of COVID19 can trigger some fatal immune responses in the brain, which are harmful to brain functioning and mental health. This report has looked at the data of studies done on 17 million people. It says that people with PTSD are at a 1 to 2 percent higher risk of developing dementia up to 17 years later in life. Experts have claimed that people with the trauma of sexual or physical abuse, accidents, and death threat are at two times higher risk of having dementia as compared to those who do not have such diagnoses. Military veterans with PTSD are at one and a half times higher risk of being diagnosed with dementia.
A senior author of the study, Vasiliki Orgeta has said that PTSD, which is quite common among severe COVID19 patients, is still an underrated and undiagnosed mental health condition. He has said it can have serious implications on people’s mental health later in life. He has informed that there have been shreds of evidence, which prove that traumatic experiences can affect the brain in many ways. If PTSD is left untreated, it can cause cognitive decline or dementia as well. Many previous studies as well have revealed that stress is a risk factor, which is linked to many medical issues from Alzheimer’s to diabetes and heart ailments as well. The National Center for PTSD has reported that eight out every 100 people feel the symptoms of PTSD in their life.