Clinical Topics

MRI Study Finds ‘Brain Scars’ in Troops With Blast-Related mTBI

MRI Study Finds ‘Brain Scars’ in Troops With Blast-Related mTBI

“Brain scars” were detected in more than half of the active-duty servicemembers who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Nurse Spearheads Effort to Increase Diabetes Control at CBOC

Nurse Spearheads Effort to Increase Diabetes Control at CBOC

The Zanesville Community Based Outpatient Clinic is pretty typical when it comes to VA community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs).

What Factors Increase Post-Surgical C. Diff Risk at VHA?

New Research Uncovers Some Clues to Aid Prevention By Brenda L. Mooney WASHINGTON — As the VHA works to reduce the overall post-operative rate of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI), important new research has uncovered some clues to the circumstances that… Read More

Air Evacuation Could Worsen Condition of Brain-Injured Servicemembers

Air Evacuation Could Worsen Condition of Brain-Injured Servicemembers

U.S. warfighters injured in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan had a 90% or more rate of survival, with a substantial part of that success attributed to medical evacuation teams that swiftly flew wounded servicemembers to locations such as Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany or to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas.

Using New Onset Diabetes to Predict Pancreatic Cancer

LOUIS — New-onset diabetes mellitus (NODM) in adults can be an indicator of pancreatic cancer, although the incidence remains low in that cohort. A new study sought to determine whether other factors could help determine when concerns about pancreatic cancer… Read More

Pharmacist Calls to Cognitively Impaired Veterans Lowers Readmissions

Pharmacist Calls to Cognitively Impaired Veterans Lowers Readmissions

By Annette M. Boyle BOSTON — For many older veterans, the transition from hospital to home can create confusion about which medications to take when. For veterans with cognitive impairment, the challenge increases — and so does the risk of… Read More

High Percentage of Soldiers with Mental Illness Undiagnosed, Not Being Treated

High Percentage of Soldiers with Mental Illness Undiagnosed, Not Being Treated

In the wake of record-high suicide rates, the Army instituted a number of programs to identify and treat mental illness among soldiers.

Research Suggests Gout Drug Could Lower Diabetes Risk Among Veterans

Could a common drug used for gout lower the risk of diabetes? That’s what a recent study in the journal Clinical Therapeutics endeavored to find out.

Cirrhosis Expected to Peak by 2021 in VA; Liver Cancer Epidemic Continues

Cirrhosis Expected to Peak by 2021 in VA; Liver Cancer Epidemic Continues

For the VA, the combination of effective treatment options and much lower prevalence of HCV in younger veterans may offer a light at the end of the tunnel — and a turning point in the steady rise of HCV-associated complications such as cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in only a few years.

Diabetes Overtreatment Continues for Older VA Patients

Diabetes Overtreatment Continues for Older VA Patients

Some Clinicians Worry More About Malpractice Than Hypoglycemia By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI — Despite a VA campaign to raise awareness of hypoglycemia and recommendations from the national Choosing Wisely campaign to less aggressively treat older patients with… Read More

Veterans with Skin Cancer Lacked Awareness of Personal Risks

SAN ANTONIO — Veterans with skin cancer might not be as aware of the dangers of sun exposure or the necessity for skin protection as they should be. In a study published recently in Military Medicine, researchers from the Audie… Read More

Scarce Sun Protection in Iraq, Afghanistan Put Troops at Risk

NASHVILLE, TN — It wasn’t only the climate that increased the risk of skin cancer for military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lack of sun protection also was a contributing factor, according to a new study. Results published recently… Read More

VA-Led Study: NPs, PA Provide Comparable Cardiac Care to Physicians

VA-Led Study: NPs, PA Provide Comparable Cardiac Care to Physicians

All Fail to Consistently Meet Performance Measures By Brenda L. Mooney HOUSTON — Cardiac patients and even some medical staff might assume they will receive the best ongoing care when they see a physician, not an advanced practice provider such… Read More

For Treated Patients, HIV Status No Greater Risk for Surgery Than Older Age

For Treated Patients, HIV Status No Greater Risk for Surgery Than Older Age

Subhead: Post-operative Mortality Rates Low Among ART Users By Annette M. Boyle WEST HAVEN, CT — Historically, high post-operative mortality rates among HIV-infected patients caused many physicians and patients to defer or avoid surgery all together. For today’s veterans with… Read More

VA’s CKD Patients Lack Knowledge About Their Condition

VA’s CKD Patients Lack Knowledge About Their Condition

CHICAGO — Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients at the VA have insufficient knowledge about their condition, which is associated with poorer health outcomes, according to a recent study. The report, published in the Clinical Kidney Journal, suggests that effective patient-provider… Read More

How Obesity Affects Kidney Function, Mortality in Veterans

MEMPHIS, TN — A new study investigated the association of body mass index with progressive loss of kidney function and all-cause mortality in U.S. veterans, finding that those who were overweight but not obese had the best clinical outcomes. The… Read More

Dialysis Timing Tends to Be Different for VA Patients

SEATTLE — The estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) tends to be lower at the VA when dialysis is initiated compared with other healthcare systems, according to a new study. The report, published recently in the Clinical Journal of the American… Read More

'Yuck Factor' Notwithstanding, Maggots Highly Effective for Diabetic Foot Wounds at VA

‘Yuck Factor’ Notwithstanding, Maggots Highly Effective for Diabetic Foot Wounds at VA

The VA is proving that “everything old is new again” with an unusual medical device — medicinal maggots.

A Personalized Approach Works Best in Prevention of Diabetes Development

A Personalized Approach Works Best in Prevention of Diabetes Development

For years, researchers have promoted the wonders of medical treatment customized to a patient’s specific genetic profile, but the reality in the exam room continues to be more “one size fits all.”

Early HIV Researcher Continues Lifelong Battle Against Viruses

Early HIV Researcher Continues Lifelong Battle Against Viruses

Raymond Schinazi, PhD, Hon DSc, still remembers how the patients lined the corridors. They were all too thin, too pale and much too weak.

New Veteran Study Further Complicates Testosterone Replacement Issue

New Veteran Study Further Complicates Testosterone Replacement Issue

VA Researchers Find Normalizing ‘T’ Levels Lowers Heart Risks By Brenda L. Mooney KANSAS CITY, MO — The question over how testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) affects cardiovascular health became even more contentious with a new U.S. veterans study finding that… Read More

Putting Heads Together to Improve Brain Injury Care

Putting Heads Together to Improve Brain Injury Care

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — If you had more money for traumatic brain injury research, where would you invest it? That is one of the questions VA Secretary Robert McDonald asked TBI researchers at a recent conference He also inquired… Read More

Common Dementia Drugs Linked To Dangerous Weight Loss in Veterans

Common Dementia Drugs Linked To Dangerous Weight Loss in Veterans

By Brenda L. Mooney SAN FRANCISCO – New research on cholinesterase inhibitors is reducing the already limited options VA clinicians have to treat VA patients with dementia. More than a half-million veterans have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and dementia, with most… Read More

Long-Acting Insulins Approved by FDA

PLAINSBORO, NJ – Physicians treating diabetes patients have new weapons in their arsenal. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Tresiba (insulin degludec injection) and Ryzodeg 70/30 (insulin degludec/insulin aspart injection) to improve glucose control in adults with diabetes mellitus.… Read More