PTSD, TBI, and Early Aging- War might be making young bodies old
Posted by defensebaseactcomp on September 6, 2012
If what they’re seeing is a form of early aging, it seems most common to those with both blast-related concussion and PTSD— about 30% of the veterans being studied in a long-term research effort.
There is even imaging evidence of diminished gray matter in high-functioning areas of the brain, changes that shouldn’t happen for decades, if at all.
by Gregg Zoroyo USA Today September 6, 2012
BOSTON – A litany of physical or emotional problems spill out as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans make their way, one by one, to the 11th floor of a VA hospital in the Jamaica Plain neighborhood.
The tragic signs of post-traumatic stress disorder or battlefield concussion are all too evident. Even more alarming for researchers is emerging evidence that these newest American combat veterans — former GIs and Marines in their 20s and 30s — appear to be growing old before their time. Scientists see early signs of heart disease and diabetes, slowed metabolisms and obesity — maladies more common to middle age or later.
“They should have been in the best shape of their lives,” says William Milberg, a Harvard Medical School professor of psychology and project co-director. “The big worry, of course, is we’re going to be taking care of them until they’re in their 70s.
What’s going to happen to them in the long run?”