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1 in 4 stroke victims experiences PTSD, study finds

Brad Balukjian
Published Date: 
19 June 2013
The Los Angeles Times
Original article: 

Post-traumatic stress disorder<, known as PTSD, is not just a problem for military veterans, sexual assault survivors and other crime victims  — it also plagues many stroke victims, according to new research.

The study<, published online Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, reports that 23% of stroke and mini-stroke victims surveyed within one year of the event suffered from PTSD. In addition, 11% of stroke victims surveyed more than a year after the event reported that they experienced PTSD.

A stroke< occurs when an artery carrying essential oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked or bursts, causing damage to the brain and potentially impairing speech, sight and motor control. A mini-stroke, also known as a transient ischemic attack<, occurs in a similar way but lasts only a few minutes.

Strokes kill about 137,000 people per year in the United States and in 2010 led to $73.7 billion in healthcare costs.

The new research developed from a growing awareness that medical traumas can lead to PTSD. Study leader Donald Edmondson, an assistant professor at Columbia University<previously established< that PTSD is common among heart attack< survivors and that it is linked to an increased risk of later developingheart disease<. This led his team to question how often stroke victims develop PTSD.


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