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J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2011 Jan;17(1):1-6. doi: 10.1017/S1355617710001116. Epub 2010 Nov 17.

Understanding the neuropsychological consequences of deployment stress: a public health framework.

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  • 1Psychology Service and VA National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston, Massachusetts 02130, USA.


Complaints of neuropsychological dysfunction have emerged among subsets of military personnel after almost every major deployment involving western nations in recent history. Although deployments have been characterized by a range of neural risk factors, psychological stress is common to most prolonged deployments. This review uses a public health framework to address associations between deployment-related stress and neuropsychological performance. Specifically, the review covers mechanisms by which deployment-related psychological stress may affect neuropsychological functioning, considers the advantages and disadvantages of approaching the question from a public health perspective, and discusses how epidemiological research may sort out questions regarding course, cause, and effect.

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