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J Anxiety Disord. 2013 Aug;27(6):550-8. doi: 10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.01.001. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

A meta-analysis of cognitive functioning in older adults with PTSD.

Author information

1
VA San Diego Healthcare System, 3350 La Jolla Village Drive (116B), San Diego, CA 92161, USA; Trauma Research Institute, 4350 Executive Drive, Suite 255, San Diego, CA 92121, USA.

Abstract

A meta-analysis was conducted to summarize and integrate the literature on the cognitive functioning of older adults with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We hypothesized that those with PTSD would exhibit worse performance in each of the cognitive domains studied when compared to older adults without PTSD. Major databases were queried and eleven articles met criteria for review. As predicted, there was evidence of worse performance across cognitive measures in older adult samples with PTSD relative to older samples without PTSD. The strongest effect across samples was found for lower test scores in the broad domain of memory among older adults with PTSD, and there was evidence that trauma exposure is uniquely associated with worse performance on tests specific to learning. We outline factors thought to contribute to the interactions among PTSD, cognitive deficits, and the aging process. These findings highlight the need for thorough evaluation of cognitive functioning in older adults with PTSD, particularly in the areas of processing speed, learning, memory, and executive functioning.

KEYWORDS:

Cognitive performance; Elderly; Neuropsychological; Posttraumatic stress disorder; Systematic review; Trauma

PMID:
23422492
DOI:
10.1016/j.janxdis.2013.01.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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