Neurology

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

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.

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

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

‘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.

Then and Now: VA Innovates in Epilepsy Treatment and Evaluation

Then and Now: VA Innovates in Epilepsy Treatment and Evaluation

By Annette M. Boyle ALBUQUERQUE – The VA has played a critical role in advancing epilepsy research since 1969, when the first VA unit to study epilepsy — and the first comprehensive epilepsy program in the country — opened in… Read More

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.

Pesticides Plus Gene Variant Increase Parkinson’s Risk

LOS ANGELES – Exposure to pesticides may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease, and certain gene variants may make some people even more susceptible to the disease, according to a new study. The research, published recently in the journal Neurology,… Read More

TBI Increases Dementia Risks for Older Veterans

MINNEAPOLIS – Experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) ups the risk 60% for older veterans to later develop dementia, according to a recent study. The report, published recently in the journal Neurology, also found that, among all veterans developing dementia,… Read More

VA More Likely To Treat Geriatric Veterans with Older AEDs

DURHAM, NC – Despite the availability of newer therapies, phenytoin remains the most prescribed antiepileptic drug (AED) within the VHA, according to a recent study. Researchers from the Southeast Epilepsy Centers of Excellence at the Durham, NC, VAMC and Duke… Read More

Robotics Help Veterans Relearn Walking Skills After Stroke Damage

Robotics Help Veterans Relearn Walking Skills After Stroke Damage

BALTIMORE – If practice makes perfect, then stroke patients at the VA Maryland Health Care System in Baltimore should have a great boost in relearning the ideal walking gait, with some help from the Anklebot.

Brain Injury from Blasts Possible Without TBI Symptoms

Brain Injury from Blasts Possible Without TBI Symptoms

By Brenda L. Mooney SALISBURY, NC – Veterans exposed to explosions during deployment but not reporting common symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) could have similar damage to the brain’s white matter, according to a new study. In a small… Read More

VA Programs Seek to Keep Troubled Veterans Out of Jail

VA Programs Seek to Keep Troubled Veterans Out of Jail

COLUMBIA, MO – For some veterans with unmet mental health needs, readjusting to civilian life can rapidly put them on the wrong side of the criminal justice system.

Blast Exposures Associated with Long Term TBI Complications, PTSD

Blast Exposures Associated with Long Term TBI Complications, PTSD

WASHINGTON – Warriors who served in Iraq and Afghanistan combat operations might experience lingering physical and psychological consequences of exposure to blasts.

High MS Rates in Veterans: Don’t Blame the First Gulf War Zone

High MS Rates in Veterans: Don’t Blame the First Gulf War Zone

Military personnel serving during the first Gulf War have one of the highest incidence rates for multiple sclerosis (MS) ever reported, leading to speculation that environmental exposures in the war zone triggered the disease. Research trying to determine causes, however,… Read More

VA Epilepsy Rates Rising with Returning Servicemembers

VA Epilepsy Rates Rising with Returning Servicemembers

High TBI, PTSD Comorbidity in Recent Veterans By Brenda L. Mooney WASHINGTON — U.S. veterans deployed since 2001 suffer high rates of epilepsy and other neurological disorders, and the VA is challenged in both diagnosing and treating them. Recent studies… Read More

VA Study: Vitamin E 'Significantly' Slows Alzheimer's Disease Functional Decline

VA Study: Vitamin E ‘Significantly’ Slows Alzheimer’s Disease Functional Decline

By Brenda L. Mooney MINNEAPOLIS — Could a vitamin found on drugstore shelves be effective in slowing cognitive decline for patients with Alzheimer’s disease? New VA research found that a daily dose of 2,000 IUs of vitamin E slowed functional… Read More

Proteinuria Lowering Can Adversely Affect Some CKD Patients

MEMPHIS, TN — Proteinuria-lowering interventions in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) should be implemented cautiously, considering the potential for adverse outcomes, according to a new study led by researchers from the Memphis, TN, VAMC. According to the report,… Read More

New Model Helps Predict ESRD Onset

MINNEAPOLIS — A newly-developed risk model can be used to predict the occurrence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and appropriately prepare for renal replacement therapy in veterans with advanced chronic kidney disease, according to a new study. “A new model… Read More

‘Ideal’ Blood Pressure Not Always Best for CKD Patients

MEMPHIS, TN — What’s considered ideal blood pressure measurement in most situations actually was linked with higher mortality rates in chronic kidney disease compared with patients with moderately elevated BP. A study led by Csaba P. Kovesdy, MD, chief of… Read More