Neurology

Hormone Deficiencies Common in Concussion Patients

SEATTLE—Hormonal changes related to explosive blast-related concussions often cause military veterans to suffer sleep disturbance, fatigue, depression and poor quality of life, according to a new study. The research evaluating hormone levels in 41 male veterans who had been deployed… Read More

High False-Negative Rate in Cognitive Screening

SAN DIEGO—Existing screening tools for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) miss too many confirming diagnoses, according to a new study. An article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reports a false-negative error rate of 7%. Researchers at University of California… Read More

Antipsychotics Increase Death Risk in Veterans With Parkinson’s Disease

Antipsychotics Increase Death Risk in Veterans With Parkinson’s Disease

PHILADELPHIA — Parkinson’s disease patients prescribed antipsychotics are significantly more likely to die in the short-term, according to a new veterans study.

Medications Slow Progression As Well As Reduce Symptoms in MS

Medications Slow Progression As Well As Reduce Symptoms in MS

African-Americans 50% More Likely to Experience Significant Disability.

Proposed Multiple Sclerosis Subtypes Could Benefit Patients, Researchers

Proposed Multiple Sclerosis Subtypes Could Benefit Patients, Researchers

VA Could Help Validate New Classifications By Annette M. Boyle BALTIMORE — Sometimes consensus sounds like controversy. In 2014, the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in Multiple Sclerosis recommended a revision to the four subtypes of the disease in… Read More

Barriers to Study, Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Treatment Continue to Fall

Barriers to Study, Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Treatment Continue to Fall

In the last few months, several federal agencies and Congress have taken steps to eliminate obstacles to the study and potential use of marijuana for veterans with epilepsy and other conditions.

Guidelines Offer No Set Recommendations for How to Deal with First Seizures

Guidelines Offer No Set Recommendations for How to Deal with First Seizures

While veterans and servicemembers who have experienced a single unprovoked seizure and the clinicians who treat them would like clear, consistent next steps, new guidelines take them into solidly gray areas.

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).

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.

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

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

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

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