Category: 2014 Issues

Celebrating U.S. Medicine’s 50th Anniversary

Tell us what you think are the most important advances in federal medicine over the last five decades.  Please don’t forget to identify yourself by degree, specialty and practice location. We will choose some of the responses for inclusion in the… Read More

New VA Secretary Moves Quickly to Remedy Access to Care Issues

New VA Secretary Moves Quickly to Remedy Access to Care Issues

WASHINGTON – VA Secretary Robert McDonald hit the ground running last month, reaffirming the message that VA could turn its challenges into an opportunity to do “what we could never have done otherwise.”

Researchers Target Sleep to Improve Outcomes in Servicemembers with Mild TBI

Researchers Target Sleep to Improve Outcomes in Servicemembers with Mild TBI

ARLINGTON, VA – Up to 93% of servicemembers who sustain mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) or concussions experience insomnia and more than a third develop obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep disturbances also can exacerbate other symptoms such as pain and irritability as well as impair cognition and social functioning.

Sleep Problems Complicate PTSD Recovery

BETHESDA, MD – Recovery from post-traumatic stress and mood disorders can be complicated by sleep problems, which are common among active-duty servicemembers, according to a new study. R. Gregory Lande, DO, the author of the study conducted at the Walter… Read More

Brief Cognitive Therapy Helps Insomnia Patients

GAINESVILLE, FL – Brief cognitive behavioral therapy can be highly effective in improving sleep in patients with insomnia. Sleep improved in 86% of insomnia patients who completed at least three sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTI), according to… Read More

Sleep Quality Affects Physical Activity in PTSD

SAN FRANCISCO – The worse the sleep quality, the lower the physical activity levels in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That’s according to a study from the San Francisco VAMC and the University of California, San Francisco. The research,… Read More

Third Antibacterial on Line to Treat Acute Skin Infections

PARSIPPANY, NJ – The Food and Drug Administration has given the okay to a third new antibacterial to treat acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI). Orbactiv (oritavancin), an intravenous drug, is approved to treat patients with ABSSSI caused… Read More

Novel Sleep Medication OK’d for Insomnia Treatment

WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ – The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first orexin receptor antagonist for treatment of insomnia. Suvorexant, marketed as Belsomra by Merck, Sharpe & Dohme Corp. of Whitehouse Station, NJ, is the first approved drug of… Read More

New Cervical Cancer Indication Approved for Avastin

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, CA – A new use has been approved for bevacizumab, marketed as Avastin, to treat patients with persistent, recurrent or metastatic cervical cancer. The new indication for Avastin, which interferes with the blood vessels that fuel the… Read More

PTSD Still Plagues More than 1 in 10 Vietnam Veterans 40 Years Later

PTSD Still Plagues More than 1 in 10 Vietnam Veterans 40 Years Later

WASHINGTON – Thousands of Vietnam-era veterans continue to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 41 years after the war ended, a recent congressionally mandated study shows.

Psychological Distress Affects Prostate Cancer Screening

BOSTON – As the debate continues about the benefit of routine prostate cancer screening, a new VA study raises a new concern: the role of psychological distress in the process. The study, led by researchers from the VA Boston Healthcare… Read More

Statins Reduce Recurrence after Prostate Cancer Surgery

DURHAM, NC – Patients should be prescribed statins after prostate cancer surgery, according to the authors of a new retrospective analysis which finds that men whobegin taking the cholesterol-lowering drugs after radical prostatectomy are less likely to have a recurrence… Read More

Prostate Cancer More Aggressive in Younger Men

ANN ARBOR, MI – Prostate cancer diagnoses are on the increase in younger men, and a new analysis suggested that the disease is typically more aggressive in those cases. The study, conducted by researchers from the Ann Arbor, MI, VAMC,… Read More

Statins Reduce Barrett’s Esophagus; Cancer Precursor Affects About 10% of Veterans

Statins Reduce Barrett’s Esophagus; Cancer Precursor Affects About 10% of Veterans

By Annette M. Boyle BETHESDA, MD – Veterans on statins have another good reason to continue to take their medication, according to new research. Statins not only reduce cholesterol, combat cardiovascular disease and potentially reduce the risk of prostate cancer,… Read More

Telecare Program Effectively Manages Pain, Reduces Opioid Use in VA Patients

Telecare Program Effectively Manages Pain, Reduces Opioid Use in VA Patients

By Brenda L. Mooney INDIANAPOLIS  -  A yearlong VA telecare program to manage chronic pain due to arthritis or other musculoskeletal disorders not only doubled the likelihood of improvement for veterans in the intervention program but also demonstrated that patients… Read More

Research Finds Unexpectedly High Rates of Pain, Opioid Use in Recently Deployed Soldiers

Research Finds Unexpectedly High Rates of Pain, Opioid Use in Recently Deployed Soldiers

By Annette M. Boyle SILVER SPRING, MD – Skyrocketing prescription opioid use in the civilian population has attracted widespread medical and media attention. While the DoD and VA implemented a pain management task force in 2010, relatively little research has… Read More

Military Service Frequently Ended by Muscle Injuries Combined with Mental Health Issues

Military Service Frequently Ended by Muscle Injuries Combined with Mental Health Issues

By Annette M. Boyle ANN ARBOR, MI – When it comes to musculoskeletal injuries in the military, the physical disability might be only part of the story. While nearly two-thirds of troops deemed unfit for duty within four years of… Read More

Institute of Medicine: DOD, VA Fail at Tracking Outcomes of PTSD Treatments

Institute of Medicine: DOD, VA Fail at Tracking Outcomes of PTSD Treatments

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – One of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), affected 13.5% of soldiers and caused 502,000 veterans to seek treatment in 2012. Despite the ubiquity of the… Read More

DoD Plays Role in Helping Contain Ebola Outbreak; Seeks a Cure

DoD Plays Role in Helping Contain Ebola Outbreak; Seeks a Cure

WASHINGTON – As the U.S. public health community desperately seeks to help contain what experts say is the largest Ebola outbreak in history and the first in West Africa, DoD also is monitoring the situation closely and has created an internal task force to “further review the situation.”

DoD’s Slow Transfer of Service Records Contributes to VA Claims Backlog

DoD’s Slow Transfer of Service Records Contributes to VA Claims Backlog

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – While VA is under heavy pressure from lawmakers to reduce the claims backlog and process claims faster, the agency is not the only one to blame for these delays, according to the DoD Office of… Read More