2017 Issues

July 2017

POWER Training Rapidly Improves Muscle Power Following Stroke in Veterans

By Annette M. Boyle CHARLESTON, SC—Each year about 15,000 veterans suffer a stroke. For many stroke survivors, regaining walking ability and, ultimately, walking speed is a primary goal of rehabilitation. Recent research might offer a... View Article

July 2017

Which Type of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Surgery Is Preferred at VA?

Patients Now Being Asked to Choose Open or Endoscopic By Annette M. Boyle WHITE RIVER JUNCTION, VT—Each year, about 2,000 veterans have surgery for abdominal aortic aneurysms. Over the past two decades, a rising percentage... View Article

July 2017

VA Seeks to Fill Graduate Medical Education Positions in Next Seven Years

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—VA officials told lawmakers that they anticipate filling, by 2024, all of the graduate medical education (GME) positions authorized in a 2014 law. “We believe within the 10-year milestone we will be... View Article

July 2017

VA Antimicrobial Stewardship Helps with UTIs

BUFFALO, NY—Implementation of an antimicrobial stewardship program (ASP) appeared to significantly decrease duration of antibiotic therapy and length of hospitalization for complicated urinary tract infection at the Buffalo, NY, VAMC, without adversely affecting 30-day readmission... View Article

July 2017

Viagra Likely Doesn’t Cause Melanoma Cases

NEW YORK—A new study found higher rates of melanoma in users of the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra but could identify no direct cause and effect. A report published online by the Journal of the National... View Article

July 2017

Testosterone Trials Show Mixed Results for Users

LOS ANGELES—Testosterone replacement therapy appears to be a mixed blessing for older men with low levels of the hormone, according to recently published studies. Results of four trials published online by JAMA and JAMA Internal... View Article

July 2017

Shulkin: ‘Significant Challenges’ Continue for VA in Care Access, Staffing

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—VA has done a “significant job in improving access to care for clinically urgent veterans,” but veterans are still waiting too long for new appointments in primary care and mental health at... View Article

July 2017

VA Seeks to Speed Up Adoption of Alternative Treatments for PTSD

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON—VA is moving faster than it “ever has” when it comes to making complementary and integrative health (CIH) services available to veterans but needs to accelerate those efforts, a top VHA official... View Article

July 2017

Mail Order Pharmacy Policies Put Nearly Half of Veterans with HIV at Risk of Missing Doses

By Annette M. Boyle MADISON, WI—Antiretroviral medications have transformed HIV from a death sentence into a chronic disease, but the drugs’ effectiveness depends on rigorous adherence to sometimes-complex regimens. For veterans with HIV, adherence is... View Article

July 2017

Symptoms Persist in Veterans with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

SILVER SPRING, MD—What is the longer-term prognosis for veterans who suffered mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) during deployment? The Defense and Veterans Brain Injury Center focused on nearly 25,000 nonmedically evacuated soldiers returning from Afghanistan... View Article

July 2017

Antipsychotic Use in Parkinson’s Ups Physical Morbidity Risks

PHILADELPHIA—Antipsychotic (AP) use in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients is associated with increased physical morbidity, according to a study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.1 The study, led by researchers from the Parkinson’s Disease Research,... View Article

July 2017

TBI, OSA Combination Affects Cognitive Function

WASHINGTON—Patients with TBI are considered to be at high risk for the development of sleep disorders, especially obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In a study published in the journal Neurology, researchers posited that the combination of... View Article

July 2017

Treating Bladder Symptoms Appears to Reduce Falls in VA’s MS Patients

Many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience both falls and bladder dysfunction. In the past, those were generally considered common – but probably unrelated – issues.

July 2017

Race and Rank: New Study Questions Equal Access to MHS Healthcare

Some Youths More Likely to Get Type 1 Diabetes Technology By Brenda L. Mooney BETHESDA, MD—The U.S. military touts the equal access to healthcare it offers to servicemembers and beneficiaries. Despite that, new research found... View Article

July 2017

Reforms to ‘Choice’ Program Raise Questions about VA’s Future

Calling the criteria to access community care “arbitrary” and “unnecessarily cumbersome,” VA Secretary David Shulkin, MD, sought support from lawmakers last month to improve the processes.

July 2017

Money can’t buy life

My wife, Pam, and I recently celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. For our celebration, we decided to give each other a trip to Las Vegas.

July 2017

DoD Advances Development of Freeze-Dried Plasma for Battlefield Deployment

For the first time since the Korean War, American troops have access to freeze-dried plasma in the field. Currently only available to special forces, the blood product has already saved lives.

July 2017

‘Housing First’ Is Motto for VA Director Seeking to End Veteran Homelessness

By Steve Spotswood WASHINGTON — In 2009, then-Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric Shinseki unveiled the department’s ambitious five-year plan to end homelessness among veterans. One of the people brought in to implement that plan was... View Article

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