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Victim Compensation Fund

9/11 First Responders At Greater Risk Of Developing Dementia

August 11, 2020 | Michael Barasch

Recent studies from Stony Brook University found that people who inhaled toxic dust after the 9/11 terror attacks have a greater risk of developing dementia and other forms of memory loss.

“Scores of people who I represent have told me over the years, ‘my husband can’t remember anything’ or ‘I can’t remember anything, Michael’ and it’s really heartbreaking,” Michael Barasch told WCBS 880.

Around 15% of 9/11 first responders are showing signs of cognitive impairment at roughly three times the rate of the general population in that age bracket.

The studies also found that the so-called brain age of a 9/11 patient showing signs of cognitive impairment appears to be up to 10 years older than the normal population.

“It is extremely unusual to have these types of abnormalities in people of this age,” Dr. Benjamin Luft, Director of the Stony Brook WTC Health and Wellness Program, told Newsday—referring to patients who at the beginning of the studies averaged only 54 years old.

Imaging from Stony Brook University displaying cortical thickness reduction in areas of the brains for many 9/11 patients

An estimated 500,000 people, including approximately 100,000 first responders, were potentially exposed to toxins after 9/11, with many later diagnosed with an array of health issues. Now, this research suggests that those who spent a significant amount of time in Lower Manhattan following 9/11 are more likely to show neurological abnormalities and changes in their blood, similar to Alzheimer’s disease patients and related dementias.

Researchers say the studies should prompt Congress to add cognitive-related illnesses to the list of 9/11 ailments that are covered by the Victim Compensation Fund.

But the only way that new illnesses can be added to the list is by encouraging more people to join the World Trade Center Health Program. Data from the Health Program helps to strengthen the correlation between these illnesses and WTC toxic exposure.

You can help us spread the word by sharing this information with anyone you know who may have been there on and after 9/11.

With deep respect,
The Barasch & McGarry Family

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39 replies on “9/11 First Responders At Greater Risk Of Developing Dementia”

Thanks again for all the information you and your firm keeps providing us with. It’s most greatly appreciated. I didn’t know about this new health condition but I will inquire about it on my next appointment with the WTC. Thanks again Mike !!!!

I’m 55 yo and am definitely experiencing cognitive issues. Short term memory loss, can’t find simple words in everyday conversation and unable to focus when given oral directions or learning something new.

Depression is covered by the World Trade Center Health Program, but unfortunately, it is not currently listed as a condition covered by the Victim Compensation Fund. Please reach out to us at 212-385-8000 should you have any more questions.

Take care,

Unbelievable, that people are coming across with dementia, I have a part-time job , I cut cold cuts for The customers … I have to write everything down Otherwise, I will forget. It’s embarrassing when you can’t remember two items….Thx, Thanks for the information.

Hi Doris, They have not yet found a connection between MS and 9/11 toxic exposure, but we always encourage everyone who was there on and after 9/11 to register for the Health Program regardless. The more data they have, the more likely they are to find new correlations and certify additional illnesses.

Take care,

I’m very concerned about illnesses caused from being down at 9/11 I can’t say I have it but people tell me things and I don’t remember them saying anything also I was curious about heart disease because before 9/11 I never had heart problems but after 9/11 I’ve had three heart attacks and four stents now I’m on heart meds syc meds and blood pressure meds don’t no if any of this info helps but letting you no what I’m going threw since being down there my health isn’t great

I have a lot of memory loss of the time I spent at ground zero and in general. In 2004 I had double vision for about 15 months. I went through the New York rescue workers detox program.

Yes I have a memory problem I passed a little test the psychiatrist gift but the test doesn’t apply to me I keep trying to tell them that I have memory problems with my words and recent memories and I just have major problems talking to people I don’t understand it and it’s upsetting

Thx for critical update. I had a massive heart attack on 3/2/20. Healthy lifestyle and no family history of coronary disease before age 77, I was 61. Understand that Mt Sinai and LIU research indicates 1st Responders arriving before noon on 9/11 have coronary heart disease at a rate 44% greater than the general population. I would like to be a research subject to help in this research. Who can I contact?

My memory loss is so severe that I forget what I was talking about during a normal conversation. Also how I don’t remember how to perform a task that I had performed many times before, even the simplestic things Having difficulty remembering period. Is it neurological, perhaps, I have also been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy without cause. Not diabetic, had 3 epidurals and lower spine surgery,no help ,no cure.

I noticed I’ve become more forgetful over the last few years. My memory is getting worse. I forget where I put my keys down. As I’m doing something, I forget what I was thinking about something I had to do, eventually I’ll remember what I was thinking. I do have memory issues.

Me too im 51 and my memory is shot as is my ability to retain the written word as i was an AVID reader and now i struggle to finish one book where as i used to read 3 books a month quite frankly it scares the hell outta me

I was wondering why I have been having difficulties remembering things. I have had conversations and I have been told that I already had repeated the same information but I don’t remember that I had. I have to write myself notes to remember things that I need to do. I have missed appointments because I forget. I’m the past my memory and remembering was not an issue. I retired because I was having problems remembering things related to work. I have not be tested, but I think that I will.

Pensé que sólo a mi me pasaba y que era por la edad… pero también pienso que no estoy muy vieja como para olvidarme casi al instante cosas por ejemplo leer un párrafo de un libro. Saber lo que quiero decir , cómo alguna simple palabra y no poder recordar …. aparte mi visión se está volviendo cada día peor….
Me encantaría que nuestros abogados nos ayudaran a que se hagan estudios… porqué cuando uno va a Monte Sinai lo único que hacen es hacerle las mismas preguntas todos los años yo ya tengo más de 10 años yendo al hospital pero no veo que hagan nada por uno , o será que por ser latino son racistas y lo discriminan … muchas de las veces e pedido ayuda pero me ignoran… o será más bien qué hay que ponerles una demanda al hospital? Porqué ellos dicen que tenemos que ir a nuestro médico primario , para que ellos nos den el diagnostico… Entonces que hace el hospital ?… solo preguntar lo mismo año tras año?… no es justo lo que hacen….
De todas maneras no estaría mal que los abogados en quien confiamos nos ayudarán en todo esto…. y que sepan que todos tenemos igualdad de derechos no solo policías bomberos o en otras palabras los blancos….
Ojalá y sea escuchada entonces veré resultados
Gracias de antemano.

How are you? You have represented me for my WTC rhino sinusitis in the recent past. I’m 50 y/o now and over the last 10 years my memory is so bad that if I don’t act on a thought right away I will forget it in a matter of seconds. I even forget my train of thought midway thru a comment. I don’t remember what point I was making. I even sadly forget coworkers names that I’ve known for years and including relatives. This is extremely frustrating!!!!! I am willing to partake in any studies available concerning this matter.

Hi Penny, We’re sorry to hear about your husband’s passing. Please call us as soon as possible at 800-657-0326 so we can discuss your eligibility for the permanently extended and funded $10+ Billion Victim Compensation Fund. Take care.

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