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Second World War 'may have caused spike in dementia cases'

Second World War 'may have caused spike in dementia cases'
17th September 2009

The effects of total war in the 1940s may have caused a large amount of dementia in the nation's older people given the trauma they went through at the time, it has been opined.

A press conference at York held yesterday saw Dr Karen Ritchie from France's National Institute of Health and Medical Research explain that many of today's cases could possibly have been caused by armed combat or the Blitz, the Daily Mail reported.

She studied the effects of forced deportation of French citizens from Algeria in the 1950s, noting that many had settled in Montpellier, where she carried out her research.

Dr Ritchie said: "They had suffered extreme stress, losing their homes and having their lives threatened, sometimes by people who were once their neighbours.

"The ones who had the worst symptoms (of dementia) now were those who had suffered most at the time."

However, people of all ages are known to get dementia, with 13-year-old Isobel Jeffery recently featuring in the news headlines, having an extremely rare form of the disorder which she was diagnosed with at the age of nine.

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