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PTSD and Neurodegenerative Disorders 

PTSD and Neurodegenerative Disorders
PTSD and Neurodegenerative Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

David A. Loewenstein

, Rosie E. Curiel

, and Arlene Raffo


This chapter examines the potential effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on cognitive function, evaluates mechanisms that may mediate this relationship, determines the potential effects of PTSD on neurobiological systems such as the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis and different limbic and frontal lobe pathways, and discusses how this might be related to an increased risk for neurodegeneration. The chapter propose that associations and increased odds ratios associated with PTSD and dementia, while worthy of study, do not firmly establish a causative relationship between PTSD and dementia. The barriers to studying the associations between PTSD and dementia as they relate to causal mechanisms are also examined. Further research is needed, with more precise definitions, diagnostic rigor, and a focus on examining actual brain–behavior mechanisms that may shed light on potential causation.

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