Clinical Topics

VA/DoD Recommend More Moderate Approach to Treating High Cholesterol

VA/DoD Recommend More Moderate Approach to Treating High Cholesterol

New Guidelines Significantly Different from AHA/ACC Document

Study: Alzheimer’s Disease Blood Test Would Be Feasible

LOS ANGELES — A new study provides the first evidence that a simple blood test could be developed to confirm the presence of beta amyloid proteins in the brain, which could help in early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. No reliable… Read More

Treatment Tested to Break TBI-Alzheimer’s Link

FRANKFORT, KY — The cascade of events following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) appears to increase the risk for developing a progressive degenerative brain disease, and researchers now are testing a treatment that might interrupt the process linking the two… Read More

Prescribing of AEDs to New Veterans Deemed ‘Rational’

SAN ANTONIO — VA clinicians got a positive review for their prescribing of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in a cohort of Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans. “The patterns observed between AEDs and neurological/psychiatric comorbidities suggest that clinicians are practicing rational prescribing,” concluded the… Read More

VA Expands Initiatives to Prevent Multi-Drug Resistant Organism Infection

VA Expands Initiatives to Prevent Multi-Drug Resistant Organism Infection

The VA’s methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) prevention initiative reduced healthcare-associated MRSA infections 69% in VA acute care facilities and 81% in spinal cord injury units in five years. The VA hopes to see similar success in preventing infections with Clostridium difficile (CDI) and carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) — and the MRSA bundle itself may help them do that.

Air Force Recruits Show Reduced Levels of Immunity to Common Diseases

Air Force Recruits Show Reduced Levels of Immunity to Common Diseases

Lower immunization rates have increased the number of U.S. outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases, even of those considered eradicated in this country, such as measles.

Intestinal Bacterial Difference Could Affect Diabetes Risk

SAN DIEGO — Fewer beneficial and more harmful intestinal bacteria appear to exist in African-American men at elevated risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to a veterans’ study. The research was presented at the ENDO 2015 meeting in San… Read More

Why TZDs Used to Treat Diabetes Also Increase Hunger

AUGUSTA, GA — Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) appear to activate sensors in brain cells diabetes patients, increasing hunger and causing users to gain more body fat, according to a new study. The animal study, published recently in the Journal of Neuroscience, sought… Read More

Statins Increase Diabetes Risk 87% in TRICARE Study

Statins Increase Diabetes Risk 87% in TRICARE Study DALLAS — Even for generally healthy patients, statins substantially increase the risk of developing diabetes. That’s according to a new database study of nearly 26,000 beneficiaries of the Military Health System’s insurance… Read More

Focus on Protecting Troops Against IEDs Continues After Conflicts End

Focus on Protecting Troops Against IEDs Continues After Conflicts End

With blast-induced traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) the signature injury of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, research and intense military focus on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have continued even as the military engagements have wound down.

PTSD/Depression Combination Increases Anger in Veterans

IRVINE, CA — Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are much more likely to have their tempers erupt if they also are depressed, according to a new study. The study, led by researchers from the University of California Irvine, appeared… Read More

Moderate A1c Reduction Lowers Heart Risks for Veterans With Diabetes

Moderate A1c Reduction Lowers Heart Risks for Veterans With Diabetes

VA Researchers Warn About Too ‘Tight’ Blood-Sugar Control By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI — The VA’s balanced approach to glycemic control — keeping blood sugar levels low but not too low — appears to be the best course… Read More

Carotid Endarterectomy: Too Much or Not Enough at VA?

Carotid Endarterectomy: Too Much or Not Enough at VA?

By Annette M. Boyle SAN FRANCISCO — For selected patients with carotid stenosis, national guidelines recommend revascularization for primary or secondary prevention of stroke. Increasingly, though, it appears that veterans who could benefit the most from these procedures do not… Read More

Staff Shortages Prevent Full Implementation of VA Stroke Directive

Staff Shortages Prevent Full Implementation of VA Stroke Directive

Effort Seeks to Standardize Care Across VAMCs By Annette M. Boyle INDIANAPOLIS — Since the publication of the VHA directive on treatment of acute ischemic stroke (AIS) in November 2011, VA medical facilities nationwide have responded by adding structure to… Read More

Subdural Hemorrhage Predicted to Increase More Than 50% in VA Patients

By Brenda L. Mooney NEW YORK — Over the next 15 years, chronic subdural hemorrhage (SDH) will become the most common adult brain condition requiring neurosurgical intervention in the United States, but healthcare systems may not be prepared to care… Read More

Heart Failure Is Latest Serious Health Condition Linked to PTSD

Chronic Conditions Also Associated With Past Combat Experience Annette M. Boyle MINNEAPOLIS — Serious health conditions linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) continue to mount. Researchers recently uncovered a significant link between the condition and the risk of developing heart… Read More

New Guidelines: Six-Step Recovery Program Recommended for Military mTBI

New Guidelines: Six-Step Recovery Program Recommended for Military mTBI

Annette M. Boyle CHAPEL HILL, NC — Traumatic brain injury has been a signature injury of recent military engagements, with nearly 300,000 documented since 2000. Four out of five of those were mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) or concussions. Despite… Read More

Pillbox Program Helps Improve Adherence for Hypertensive Patients

Annette M. Boyle ASHEVILLE, NC — Screening, frequent appointments and other interventions enabled the VA by 2010 to bring blood pressure under control in more than three-quarters of patients with hypertension. Helping the remaining one-quarter adhere to medication regimens to… Read More

‘Undiagnosing’ Multiple Sclerosis: Managing Patients Who Really Don’t Have It

‘Undiagnosing’ Multiple Sclerosis: Managing Patients Who Really Don’t Have It

As many as 10% of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis actually don’t and are receiving treatment for the wrong condition.

VA Study Finds High-Dose Flu Vaccine Better Only for Veterans 85 or Older

VA Study Finds High-Dose Flu Vaccine Better Only for Veterans 85 or Older

Research Contradicts Other Recent Findings By Brenda L. Mooney PHILADELPHIA — As the latest influenza season finally abates, a new VA study raises questions about how effective the high-dose vaccine really is for the 65 or older cohort. Beginning at… Read More