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Dr. Janet Ellis speaks with CTV Toronto about PTSD

September 25, 2020

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Dr. Janet Ellis, psychiatrist, discusses post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with CTV News Toronto, after a recent study found patients with PTSD may have double the risk of developing dementia in the future.

Dr. Ellis says the findings heighten the importance for early recognition and diagnosis of PTSD and access to specialized treatment.

“PTSD can have an effect on the brain,” says Dr. Ellis. “The impact of having fear memories and hyperactive brain circuitry can lead to a change in the way the brain works.”

Dr. Ellis emphasizes that people with PTSD often develop comorbid disorders, such as depression or substance abuse, which complicates the diagnostic picture and increases the risk to long term physical and mental health outcomes.

“People don’t come in saying, ‘I think I have PTSD,’” Dr. Ellis explains to CTV. “They come in saying, ‘I can’t sleep. I’m jittery and my family say I am irritable.”

Dr. Ellis adds individuals often mistake their symptoms for insomnia, anxiety or depression, and says it is important to understand the symptoms of PTSD to better recognize it and seek treatment.

Watch the CTV News story on PTSD and dementia