Veterans May Be at Higher Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

A group called Veterans Against Alzheimers recently released a report indicating that Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury and even brain injuries that appear to be relatively minor when they occur are linked to a higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease.   A diagnosis of dementia is twice as likely for veterans who suffer from PTSD as for those who do not, and it appears to be almost four times as likely than for individuals with no military service.

Based on this research, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars are considering legislation that would increase VA medical care options for veterans with Alzheimer’s Disease and other dementias. In the meantime, the Veterans Health Administration needs to start with developing the expertise to diagnose these individuals, even if they are then directed to non-VA healthcare providers for treatment.

As the connection between brain trauma and Alzheimer’s Disease becomes more clear, and increasing numbers of veterans are diagnosed with these conditions, the VA will also face a significant increase in claims for service-connected disability compensation as these veterans age.

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