2017 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Despite Criticism of Federal Medicine, Innovation Thrives at VA, MHS

Despite Criticism of Federal Medicine, Innovation Thrives at VA, MHS

By Brenda L. Mooney Editorial Director ATLANTA — When it comes to American politics, we certainly live in contentious – if not always interesting – times. One of those hot-button issues is a so-called single-payer health plan as an alternative… Read More

New Tools Help Reduce CVD Risk in Veterans with Diabetes

New Tools Help Reduce CVD Risk in Veterans with Diabetes

By Annette M. Boyle The search has been on for decades: A medication that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in Type 2 diabetes patients. Late last year, an existing drug was approved by the FDA for that… Read More

How the Brain, Not Just Lung Function, Affects Patient-Perceived COPD Level

How the Brain, Not Just Lung Function, Affects Patient-Perceived COPD Level

By Brenda L. Mooney Test results are only one part of the calculation on how sick patients are with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Psychosocial symptoms also play a big role, so that for some veterans with dire views of their… Read More

Protein Can Help Identify Which Rashes Are Early Mycosis Fungoides

Protein Can Help Identify Which Rashes Are Early Mycosis Fungoides

Chronic rash in a sun-protected area that doesn’t respond to topical treatment likely needs to be evaluated for mycosis fungoides, the most common variant of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Now, a new VA study reports that a protein expression can help… Read More

Good Treatment Options Emerging for Less-Common Primary Progressive MS

Good Treatment Options Emerging for Less-Common Primary Progressive MS

By Annette M. Boyle While treatment options have continued to expand for patients with the most common type of multiple sclerosis—relapsing-remitting—that has not been the case for those with a less-common variety—primary progressive. That changed this spring with FDA approval… Read More

Key Associations Urge Clinicians to Inform Patients about SUDUP Risks

NEW YORK – Patients with epilepsy should be told about their uncommon risk of death, especially if they suffer from tonic-clonic seizures, new guidelines state. Controlling those seizures might reduce the risk of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). The… Read More

Should Adult Epilepsy Patients Be Told About Unexpected Death Risks?

Should Adult Epilepsy Patients Be Told About Unexpected Death Risks?

Elevated Mortality Rates for Veterans Fires Up Debate A shocking report on substantially higher mortality rates for veterans with epilepsy, as well as new guidelines from key disease groups, have reignited debate on a difficult issue in treating the neurological… Read More

Gene Transfer Improves Function in Heart Failure, Hospitalizations Reduced

Gene Transfer Improves Function in Heart Failure, Hospitalizations Reduced

Could gene transfer be the answer to reducing hospitalizations for veterans with heart failure? A new trial by VA researchers suggests that’s a good possibility, with a single intracoronary injection of an adenovirus to transfer the gene that produces the… Read More

Non-Teaching VA Clinics More Likely to Prescribe Inappropriate Antibiotics

Non-Teaching VA Clinics More Likely to Prescribe Inappropriate Antibiotics

PROVIDENCE, RI – The VA is working hard to stem the rate of unnecessary and inappropriate antibiotic prescribing in its healthcare system. A new study identifies an area where more work might be required. Researchers with the Providence, RI, VAMC… Read More

DoD Aids Research on Identification of Pathogens in Hours, Not Days

DoD Aids Research on Identification of Pathogens in Hours, Not Days

Technology Also Helps Determine Most-Effective Antibiotics By Brenda L. Mooney The DoD’s involvement with the development of new technology to rapidly identify pathogens and appropriate antibiotic therapy has its roots in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Transporting wounded warriors increased… Read More

VA Lung Cancer Screening Pilot Was Valuable but ’Challenging and Complex’

VA Lung Cancer Screening Pilot Was Valuable but ’Challenging and Complex’

While the benefits of lung cancer screening are undeniable for some former smokers—especially those whose lives were saved because of it—the VA recently learned some important lessons on how to use the technology most efficiently. The key? Regular screening of… Read More

Smoking History, Obesity Increase Risk for Renal Cell Carcinoma in Veterans

While toxic exposures such as contaminated water at Camp Lejeune increase the likelihood of developing renal cell carcinoma (RCC), veterans have higher risks for the cancer even beyond those unusual events. A history of cigarette smoking and obesity—both of which… Read More

Oral Combination Therapies for MS Offer Superior Effectiveness

Oral Combination Therapies for MS Offer Superior Effectiveness

By Annette M. Boyle The first retrospective comparison of newer oral disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) to injectable DMTs for relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (MS) found that, in real-world settings, patients taking two of the oral drugs had lower relapse rates in the… Read More

Better Anaerobic Fatigue Measures Could Help Improve Quality of Life with MS

Better Anaerobic Fatigue Measures Could Help Improve Quality of Life with MS

By Annette M. Boyle Multiple sclerosis patients often report fatigue, but it isn’t always clear how that condition affects their functionality. New research is seeking to establish clearer definitions and measures of fatigue in an effort to help improve quality… Read More