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Sexually Assaulted Women Have A Higher Risk Of Developing A Type Of Brain Damage, Says Study
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Sexually Assaulted Women Have A Higher Risk Of Developing A Type Of Brain Damage, Says Study

The type of brain damage has been linked to cognitive decline, dementia and stroke, according to the findings.

Representational Image Source: Getty Images/ Tinnakorn Jorruang
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Statistics show that at least one in three women have been sexually assaulted in their lifetime. A study has now come out with alarming findings that state that women who have been sexually assaulted have a higher risk of developing a type of brain damage. This type of brain damage has been linked to cognitive decline, dementia, and stroke. "It could be either childhood sexual abuse or adult sexual assault. Based upon population data, most women have their sexual assaults when they are in early adolescence and early adulthood so these are likely early experiences that we're seeing the marks of later in life." said study author Rebecca Thurston, according to CNN.  Thurston is a professor and director of the Women's Biobehavioral Health Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh's Graduate School of Public Health.

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A lot of research has taken place over the years to understand the long-term impact of sexual assault on the body and the mind. Previous studies have linked sexual trauma to higher levels of triglycerides and blood pressure in midlife, which are risk factors for heart attacks. Many experts believe there is a correlation between trauma and how it affects one's health. "We need to keep our attention on this issue of sexual violence against women and not let it fall off the radar screen of society, because it continues to be a major women's health issue," Thurston said. She believes that women who have been through sexual abuse should speak to their doctors. "Absolutely share this information with your health care providers," Thurston said. "This is not your fault, so please share what you are comfortable with disclosing. It's important information that has implications for your physical health and your emotional well-being."