September 2011

Neurotransmitter Discovery Could Lead To Treatments for Mental Disorders

For years, researchers have been working to discover which cellular processes allow humans to learn and store memories, and how these processes are compromised by diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Researchers at NIH say they believe they have uncovered… Read More

The prayer that has been mine for 20 or more years

“The prayer that has been mine for 20 or more years, that I might be permitted in some way or sometime to do something to alleviate human suffering, has been answered!” – Walter Reed (1851-1902) This quote was from a… Read More

Advocate Returns to the Army to Support Soldiers Needing Medical Care

WASHINGTON — Clyde Foster may have retired from the Army after 26 years of service, but, as an Army Wounded Warrior Program (AW2) advocate, his service to his country has not stopped. “I have always been interested in helping people,”… Read More

Army Urgently Seeks More Substance-Abuse Counselors for Troubled Soldiers

WASHINGTON — With wars that have gone on for almost a decade, the Army has more soldiers with substance-abuse problems than it can handle and is trying to expedite hiring counselors to help bring the problem under control. The Army… Read More

A Sea Change for Military Medicine: Walter Reed Joins Navy Medical Center in Bethesda

WASHINGTON — A new chapter in military medicine is set to begin this month with the opening of the new Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD. The completion of the new medical center comes after six years… Read More

Study: Common Medication Given for PTSD Has No Benefit

WASHINGTON — An antipsychotic medication commonly used by VA to treat combat-related PTSD has been found to have no discernible benefit. Patients taking the drug risperidone (Risperdal) did no better than those taking a placebo, according to a recent VA-run… Read More

Long Wait Times for Mental Health Care Continue to Plague VA

WASHINGTON — Poor coordination and staffing problems were identified as major factors in veterans’ receiving inadequate care at Atlanta VA Medical Center mental-health clinics, according to a VA Inspector General (IG) report released last month. This report is the latest… Read More

Surgical Errors Dropped Significantly at VA; Safety Training Program Credited

WASHINGTON — Surgical errors have declined significantly at VA facilities nationwide, while the reporting of close calls has increased, according to a recent study. The study, conducted by VA researchers, credits agency-led quality improvement efforts with the decline in adverse… Read More

TRICARE Currently Tied to Medicare Rates Threatened by Debt Deal

WASHINGTON — Military beneficiary groups and physician groups are watching closely how Medicare rates will fare under the deal on the debt ceiling that was agreed upon by Congress last month. Because TRICARE rates are generally set at those for… Read More

FDA’s Approval Process Doesn’t Assure Safety of Moderate-Risk Medical Devices, Report Says

WASHINGTON — An FDA process for approving some medical devices, in use for the past 35 years, lacks the ability to reliably screen new products for safety and effectiveness prior to their release. The 510(k) clearance process was designed to… Read More

InnoVAtions: Colorful 19th Century Drug Found Effective for Eczema at Atlanta VAMC

WASHINGTON — Gentian violet (pronounced jen-shen) is not a compound familiar to most modern medical practitioners. Developed in the middle of the 19th century, this combination of pararosanilines used as a component in dyes was eventually discovered to have antiseptic… Read More

Federal Debt Deal Threatens Funding for VA, Military Healthcare

WASHINGTON — Before Congress reached a debt ceiling deal last month, veterans and active-duty servicemembers were worried if they would receive their military paychecks, veterans’ benefits, or G.I. Bill benefits, should the United States be unable to borrow more to… Read More

Think VA’s Budget Has Grown Rapidly? You May Not Have Seen Anything Yet

VA’s medical-care budget has grown rapidly since 2001 —$27 billion or 130% — but government budget officials suggest that is a minor increase compared to what is coming: the lifetime costs of treating troops who have returned from Iraq and… Read More

Integrative Health Offers Military New Options for Mind-Body Wellness

WASHINGTON — A shortage providers and the perceived stigma attached to mental-health care may prevent troops from seeking services. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) can help fill the gaps, according to a recent webinar on integrative health options for military… Read More