HealthDay News — The incidence of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is increased in World Trade Center (WTC) responders, according to a study published online Sept. 6 in Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment & Disease Monitoring.

Sean A.P. Clouston, PhD, from the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook in New York, and colleagues assessed the incidence of MCI among 1,800 WTC responders who were cognitively intact at baseline assessment (mean age, 53.1 years).

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The researchers found that 14.2 percent of the eligible cognitively intact responders developed MCI at follow-up. Higher MCI incidence was seen relative to expected based on previous published results. Individuals with greater posttraumatic stress disorder symptom severity had an increased incidence of MCI; in apolipoprotein-ε4 carriers, prolonged exposure was found to be a risk factor.

“This study is the first of its kind in a sample of WTC responders and provides increasing support for the view that WTC exposures may have neurological implications,” the authors write. “Clinicians and policymakers need to be aware of the increased risk for early MCI in this population and the utility of monitoring cognitive functioning in the long term.”

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