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Posted Thursday August, 27th 2020

Trauma linked to cognitive decline in adults

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Individuals who suffer trauma in child- and adulthood may experience a greater amount of cognitive decline as they age than individuals who haven’t experienced trauma, a new study found.

The research, published in June in the Journal of Traumatic Stress, also found that recent trauma suffered in adulthood has a larger impact on some aspects of cognitive functioning than trauma in childhood.

"We found that the more adverse events experienced, such as your parents' divorce or a parent dying, the greater the cognitive decline," said Margie Lachman, the Minnie and Harold Fierman Professor of Psychology, who co-authored the study with psychology graduate student Kristin Lynch MS ’18.

Lynch, who earned her master’s in psychology in a year in Lachman’s lab, was first author on the journal article. Her thesis explored the effect of lifetime trauma exposure on the relationship between age and religiosity

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