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Study Documents Cognitive Impairment in 9/11 First Responders

June 25, 2021 | Michael Barasch

9/11 first responders who worked on search-and-rescue and recovery efforts in Lower Manhattan are at risk of suffering from cognitive impairment as a result of their exposure to Ground Zero toxins.  

A recent study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research found that Ground Zero-related mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as well as the use of psychotropic medication, contributed to the impairment.

Currently, the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) does not include any mental health conditions on its list of “covered conditions” eligible for an award.

The VCF is consistently adding new conditions, and additional evidence from the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program helps strengthen the correlation between 9/11 exposure and illnesses such as mental health disorders.

Thankfully, the World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program includes several 9/11-related mental health problems in its list of covered conditions and provides treatment for: 

  • Acute stress disorder
  • Adjustment disorder
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • Dysthymic disorder
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Panic disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Substance use disorder

If you are diagnosed with a mental health disorder or any of the 68 cancers or respiratory diseases impacting the 9/11 community, please contact us. 

Visit or call 212-385-8000 today.

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