Category: September 2012

VA Says It Loud and Clear, Patients Will Get Prosthetics Ordered By Their Physicians

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — It should always be what the doctor orders.  That was the message that VA delivered to a House subcommittee concerned about procuring the best prosthetics for patients who need them. “We understand the critical value… Read More

Potential Overuse of Antipsychotic Drugs for PTSD Patients is Under Review

By Annette M. Boyle FORT DETRICK, MD — In the wake of a memo from Assistant Secretary of Defense Jonathan Woodson, MD, expressing concern about potential over-prescription of antipsychotic drugs for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, the Army and VA… Read More

VA Study Urging Watchful Waiting for Early Prostate Cancer Sparks Controversy

By Brenda L. Mooney MINNEAPOLIS — New research out of the Minneapolis VAMC finds that radical prostatectomy does not significantly reduce the risk of death in prostate cancer patients, when compared to observation over more than a decade. While that… Read More

Pain is weakness leaving the body

I do not think it is possible to spend any time in the military without hearing this quote at least once. A friend recently purchased a T-shirt at the Pentagon with the adage proudly displayed. It is a mark of… Read More

Army: Forensic Psychiatry No Longer Used for PTSD Disability Evaluations

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — The Army will no longer use forensic psychiatry to evaluate soldiers diagnosed with PTSD in the disability evaluation system, military officials announced. The announcement came after a firestorm of controversy erupted earlier this year at… Read More

New Law Provides Last Resort Healthcare to Camp Lejeune Contamination Victims

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — With the signing of a new law, healthcare was made available to veterans and their families affected by contaminated water at Camp Lejeune, NC, during a 30-year period. The bill was passed as part of… Read More

VA, DoD Leaders Questioned About Handling Influx of New Veterans in System

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — How exactly does the VA plan to address its claims backlog problem with a wave of new veterans entering to the system? Can DoD and VA handle the needs of the influx of returning troops… Read More

Bill Seeks to Remove Barriers Keeping Military Medics from Getting Civilian Jobs

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — While military medics have been hailed for their bravery and lifesaving skills on the battlefield, many are out of work once they leave the military. Nearly 100,000 Army veterans applied for unemployment in FY 2011,… Read More

What Is the Role of Immune Dysfunction in Schizophrenia? VA Researchers Seek to Find Out

By Annette M. Boyle SAN ANTONIO — Can cytokines, the signaling proteins secreted by immune system cells, offer a way to prevent development of schizophrenia in susceptible individuals or keep psychosis from occurring in veterans with the disorder? Dimitre Dimitrov,… Read More

Social Skills Training for Veterans with Schizophrenia Changes Lives for Better

By Annette M. Boyle BALTIMORE– For many veterans with schizophrenia, deficits in social skills commonly associated with the disorder can make maintaining relationships and achieving personal goals extremely challenging. The VA’s Social Skills Training (SST) program helps these veterans acquire… Read More

Bariatric Surgery Increasing at VA, Questions Continue on Long Term Benefits

By Stephen Spotswood CHARLESTON, SC — With bariatric surgery becoming more common and reliable, VA medical centers are employing the treatment more often in patients previously unable to lose weight and reverse co-morbidities associated with obesity. Questions remain, however, about… Read More

VA Bears Brunt of Costs for Beneficiaries Also in Medicare Plans

By Brenda L. Mooney PROVIDENCE, RI — An overlap of services between the VA and some Medicare managed-care plans is costly for the federal government, which is effectively double-paying for the same services. A new study estimates the cost as… Read More

Is Getting Disability Benefits Too Difficult for Military Sexual Assault Victims?

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — The criteria to obtain VA disability benefits for sexual assault is “completely unrealistic” for most survivors to meet, advocates told a congressional committee at a recent hearing. “Veterans who file a PTSD claim based on… Read More

Convenient Primary Care Reduces CV Risk Factors in Mentally Ill

Cardiovascular disease risk factors often are comorbid with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder, yet these patients often don’t receive necessary care for those chronic conditions. In fact, veterans with SMI have fewer medical… Read More

Yoga Instruction Expands Minds, Function of Veteran Stroke Victims

By Steve Lewis While clinicians who work directly with patients may serve the healthcare needs of veterans, those who do behind-the-scenes research also play a critical role. A good example is Arlene A. Schmid, PhD, OTR, who teaches at Indiana… Read More

Exercise Improves Survival Rates for Diabetics with LVH

Achieving a certain level of physical fitness can improve survival rates of patients with diabetes who also have left ventricle hypertrophy (LVH), according to a new study.1 The research, presented at The Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting in Houston this… Read More