- Individuals with severe psychiatric reactions induced by trauma or other life stressors have elevated risk for neurodegenerative diseases.
Why this matters
- Underlying drivers, such as cerebrovascular factors, are possibly amenable to intervention.
- At median 4.7 years, vs unexposed general population, individuals with stress-related disorders had increased adjusted risk for neurodegenerative diseases:
- HR, 1.57 (95% CI, 1.43-1.73).
- By disease group (HRs, 95% CIs):
- Vascular neurodegenerative diseases: 1.80 (1.40-2.31).
- Primary neurodegenerative diseases: 1.31 (1.15-1.48).
- By disease (HRs; 95% CIs):
- Alzheimer’s disease: 1.36 (1.12-1.67).
- Any dementia: 1.80 (1.60-2.03).
- Parkinson’s disease: 1.20 (0.98-1.47).
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: 1.20 (0.74-1.96).
- Increased risk first seen ~2 years after start of follow-up, persisted for 20 years.
- Findings similar with comparison against unaffected siblings.
- Swedish nationwide retrospective cohort, individuals aged ≥40 years at study end:
- 61,748 with first diagnosis of stress-related disorder (posttraumatic stress disorder, acute stress reaction, adjustment disorder, other);
- 595,335 unexposed matched members of general population; and
- 78,482 unexposed matched siblings.
- Main outcome: incident neurodegenerative disease (starting from age of 40 years or 5 years postdiagnosis).
- Funding: Swedish Research Council; others.
- Potential reverse causation, surveillance bias.
- Possible misclassification of some unexposed.
- Stress-related disorders not validated.