NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Long Island News

Study: 9/11 First Responders Showing Increased Rates Of Cognitive Impairment

911responder_apcraigruttle_160830.jpg
Craig Ruttle
/
AP
Comedian Jon Stewart stands behind retired FDNY firefighter and Sept. 11 first responder Ray Pfeifer, as Pfeifer receives the key to New York City in January. Pfeifer worked at Ground Zero for nearly a year and now has terminal cancer.

Researchers at Stony Brook University have found that a significant number of first responders to the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster are experiencing cognitive impairment, which has long been considered a leading risk factor for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

Nearly 13 percent of the responders, 104 of them, had definite evidence of cognitive decline, and 1.2 percent, or 10 people, already had possible dementia, according to Newsday.

The study, published on Monday, found the impairment to be most evident among responders who suffered post-traumatic stress disorder, a common reaction in those who responded to the terror attacks.

The study also shows that responders who had a history of major depressive disorder were at risk for cognitive impairment.

The study appeared in the journal “Alzheimer’s & Dementia: Diagnosis, Assessment and Disease Monitoring.”

Related Content