alexa Grapheme-Color Synesthesia is Associated with PTSD Among Deployed Veterans: Confirmation of Previous Findings and Need for Additional Research | OMICS International| Abstract
ISSN: 1522-4821

International Journal of Emergency Mental Health and Human Resilience
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  • Research Article   
  • Int J Emerg Ment Health,
  • DOI: 1522-4821

Grapheme-Color Synesthesia is Associated with PTSD Among Deployed Veterans: Confirmation of Previous Findings and Need for Additional Research

Stuart N. Hoffman, Thomas G. Urosevich, H. Lester. Kirchner, Joseph J. Boscarino, Ryan J. Dugan, Carrie A. Withey, Richard E. Adams, Charles R. Figley and Joseph A. Boscarino*
1Sleep Disorders Center, Geisinger Clinic, Danville, PA, USA
2Ophthalmology Service, Geisinger Clinic, Mount Pocono, PA, USA
3Biomedical and Translational Informatics, Geisinger Clinic, Danville, PA, USA
4Department of Clinical Psychology, William James College, Newton, MA, USA
5Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Research, Geisinger Clinic, Danville, PA, USA
6Department of Sociology, Kent State University, Kent, OH, USA
7School of Social Work, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, USA
8Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Research, Geisinger Clinic, 100 N. Academy Avenue, Danville, PA, USA
*Corresponding Author : Joseph A. Boscarino, Department of Epidemiology and Health Services Research, Geisinger Clinic, 100 N. Academy Avenue, Danville, PA, USA, Email: [email protected]

Abstract

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is related to alteration in neuropsychological functioning, including visual and other cognitive processes. Grapheme-color synesthesia is a phenomenon in which a letter or number elicits response of a concurrent image or color perception. Since we earlier reported an association between grapheme-color synesthesia and PTSD, our objective in the current study was to validate this association among a new study group and assess risk factors. For this, we surveyed 1,730 military veterans who have been outpatients in the Geisinger Clinic, a multi-hospital system in Pennsylvania, USA. All the study veterans served in a warzone deployment. The association between PTSD and Grapheme-color synesthesia was evaluated. The average age of veterans was 59.6 years among whom 95.1% were male. Current PTSD prevalence rate was observed to be 7.6% (95% C.I. = 6.5-9.0) and in 3.4% of veterans (95% C.I. = 2.7-4.4) grapheme-color synesthesia was found to be positive. Initial bivariate analyses suggested that synesthesia was associated with current PTSD [odds ratio (OR) = 3.3, p<0.001]. Multivariable stepwise logistic regression evaluating the age, sex, education, trauma exposure, current psychological stress, psychotropic medication use, combat exposure, history of concussion, and current depression, confirmed this association (OR = 2.33, p = 0.019). The present study corroborated that Grapheme-color synesthesia was linked to PTSD among a second cohort of deployed military veterans. Further research is recommended in order to validate this observation and to determine whether synesthesia is a risk factor for PTSD.

Keywords: Post-traumatic stress disorder, Depression, Synesthesia, Veterans, Risk factors, Trauma exposure

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