Congressman Joaquin Castro recently asked Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie to look into possible connections between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and dementia.
If links can be established, there will be consequences in the world of VA disability benefits. Since PTSD is a service-related condition, veterans who suffer from it are able to claim benefits from the VA, but dementia is not currently considered a service-related condition.
Existing studies indicate that PTSD might increase the chances a person will develop dementia, but no causal link has yet been found. Other studies indicate that PTSD complicates treatment for dementia, since both conditions present similar psychological and behavioral symptoms.
Congressman Castro said that it is time for the VA to evaluate case records for current claimants and consider the VA’s position on the matter.