Category: Clinical Topics

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

Institute of Medicine: DOD, VA Fail at Tracking Outcomes of PTSD Treatments

Institute of Medicine: DOD, VA Fail at Tracking Outcomes of PTSD Treatments

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – One of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), affected 13.5% of soldiers and caused 502,000 veterans to seek treatment in 2012. Despite the ubiquity of the… Read More

Milwaukee VA Develops Reversal Protocol for Novel Oral Anticoagulants

Milwaukee VA Develops Reversal Protocol for Novel Oral Anticoagulants

By Annette M. Boyle MILWAUKEE – Many patients prefer the devil they know. When asked whether they want to go on or switch to a novel oral anticoagulant (NOAC) that requires little monitoring, has few drug-drug or food interactions, appears… Read More

Abnormal Lung Function in Recent Veterans Raises Respiratory Disease Risks

Abnormal Lung Function in Recent Veterans Raises Respiratory Disease Risks

SAN DIEGO ─ Veterans returning from Iraq/Afghanistan and the Gulf War with pulmonary function abnormalities have a significantly greater risk of developing chronic respiratory disease years later, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference in San Diego.

Mostly Preventable Surgical-Site Infections Double VA Treatment Costs

Mostly Preventable Surgical-Site Infections Double VA Treatment Costs

By Brenda L. Mooney IOWA CITY, IA – In addition to increasing mortality and morbidity, surgical-site infections (SSIs) nearly double the cost of treatment of patients at the VA yet usually are preventable with good infection-control practices, according to a… Read More

Multiple Antibodies Linked to Schizophrenia Development

SILVER SPRING, MD — With past research identifying an association between development of schizophrenia and antibodies to food or neurotropic infectious agents, a new study looked at the role of multiple agents in development of the serious mental illness. Researchers… Read More

Validity of Brief Screening Tool to Identify Violent Veterans

CHAPEL HILL, NC – With growing concerns about shooting sprees by troubled veterans, the Violence Screening and Assessment of Needs instrument (VIO-SCAN) was developed to try to identify veterans who should have comprehensive risk assessments for violent tendencies. A group… Read More

Rise in Military Personnel Treated for Mental Disorders

SILVER SPRING, MD – The percentage of military servicemembers in treatment for mental disorders was 2.5 times higher in 2012 than in 2000, according to a new study from the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (AFHSC). The study, published recently… Read More

Army Infantry Troops Most Likely to Suffer Amputation

SAN ANTONIO ‑ Infantry troops in the U.S. Army were the most likely to suffer an amputation, according to a recent retrospective study looking at injury rates and likelihood of returning to duty. Researchers from Brooke Army Medical Center in… Read More

Understanding Brain Compensation Aids Amputee Rehabilitation

COLUMBIA, MO — University of Missouri researchers have determined how amputees compensate when losing a dominant hand, which could lead to better rehabilitation techniques for those suffering from amputation or stroke. The study was funded by the DoD.1 “Half of… Read More

FDA OK’s Marketing for Novel Prosthetic Arm

MANCHESTER, NH —The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently allowed marketing of the first prosthetic arm that can perform multiple, simultaneous powered movements controlled by electrical signals from electromyogram (EMG) electrodes. In the DEKA Arm System, EMG electrodes detect electrical… Read More

Full Cycle Automation Increases Safety at Military, Other Federal Pharmacies

Full Cycle Automation Increases Safety at Military, Other Federal Pharmacies

By Annette M. Boyle
TAMPA ‑ What price safety?

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.

VA Treats Schizophrenia More Consistently Than Other Healthcare Systems

VA Treats Schizophrenia More Consistently Than Other Healthcare Systems

By Annette M. Boyle TEMPLE, TX – While taking antipsychotic medication often benefits patients, evidence increasingly challenges the assumption that more is better, even as the rate of prescriptions for multiple antipsychotics continues to rise in the VA and other… Read More

Stroke Kills Young American Indian/Alaska Natives at Twice Rate of Whites

Stroke Kills Young American Indian/Alaska Natives at Twice Rate of Whites

By Annette M. Boyle ATLANTA – While three-quarters of stroke patients are older than 65, a “brain attack” can affect people of any age. For young American Indians and Alaskan Natives (AI/AN), that information is especially significant because they have… Read More

First Sublingual Allergen Extract Approved for Hay Fever

ANTONY, FRANCE – The first sublingual allergen extract for the treatment of certain grass pollen allergies has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Oralair, manufactured by Stallergenes S.A. of Antony, France, was approved to treat allergic rhinitis with… Read More

Cyramza Receives Fast-Track Approval for Advanced Stomach Cancer

INDIANAPOLIS – A new therapy has received fast-track approval for treatment of advanced stomach cancer. The Food and Drug Administration has approved Cyramza (ramucirumab) to treat patients with gastroesophageal junction adenocarcinoma. Cyramza, marketed by Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, is an… Read More

FDA Adds Warning to Corticosteroid Injection Labels

WASHINGTON – Corticosteroid injections given to treat neck and back pain, as well as radiating pain in the arms and legs, can have rare but serious adverse effects, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Noting that those side… Read More

Greater Alternative Therapy Use Gradually Decreases Opioid Dependence in Military

Greater Alternative Therapy Use Gradually Decreases Opioid Dependence in Military

WASHINGTON – The use of opioids has slightly decreased in the military, an Army official told lawmakers last month.