To say September 11, 2001 was a traumatic date would be a gross understatement — especially in regards to the first responders who rushed to the World Trade Center. For many of these heroes, the fight is still on-going, due to environmentally-impacted health conditions many now face 21 years later.
OEM Specialist, Dr. Eli J. Hurowitz discusses a new study on the individuals who have suffered cognitive impairment or decline due to their experiences at the WTC:
A new study out of New York is drawing shocking conclusions regarding first responders to the World Trade Center on 9/11. The study suggests that responders who suffered cognitive impairment (CI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may be at greater risk of developing dementia later in life. For research purposes, 99 WTC responders with CI were assessed by brain scans, including diffusion tractography, a 3D imaging procedure. Both responders with and without PTSD were observed in order to have their results compared. What’s most interesting about this study to Dr. Hurowitz is the conclusion it is making regarding dementia. In the individuals who were diagnosed with PTSD and CI, a white matter can be observed in the brain that is not seen in those without PTSD. This could suggest a link between PTSD and dementia. There are many studies which draw similar conclusions regarding the development of dementia and psychological trauma.