Category: Clinical Topics

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.

Major Depressive Disorder Has Affected Nearly Half of Female OIF/OEF Veterans

Major Depressive Disorder Has Affected Nearly Half of Female OIF/OEF Veterans

DURHAM, NC – In the general population and among veterans, women suffer from depression at a substantially higher rate than men, and the mood disorder often occurs concurrently with other mental health conditions.

Repeat Colonoscopy Recommendations Usually Meet Guidelines

ANN ARBOR, MI – Physician endoscopists’ recommendations for timing of surveillance colonoscopy in average-risk patients with one to two small polyps are consistent with guideline recommendations in about 90% of cases, according to a new study. The study, which was… Read More

Auricular Acupuncture: Convenient Technique for Battlefield Pain

Auricular Acupuncture: Convenient Technique for Battlefield Pain

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD – For many servicemembers, pain is an accepted consequence of military service.

Dermatology Mobile Technology Burgeons; VA Has New App on Drawing Board

Dermatology Mobile Technology Burgeons; VA Has New App on Drawing Board

More than 200 mobile applications dealing with dermatology are now available, dealing with issues ranging from rosacea to skin cancer, according to VA researchers. How safe and useful are they, and how soon will the technology be incorporated into VA… Read More

Army Turns to NCOs to Combat Obesity, Related Issues, in Soldiers

Army Turns to NCOs to Combat Obesity, Related Issues, in Soldiers

While the vast majority of soldiers maintain healthy weights, bad habits developed during deployment and on military bases follow them after retiring from the Army. In fact, more than 70% of veterans end up overweight. To combat that trend, the… Read More

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

Rare Lymphoma Challenges VA Clinicians from Diagnosis to Treatment

Rare Lymphoma Challenges VA Clinicians from Diagnosis to Treatment

An estimated 5-10% of all cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) diagnosed each year occurs in veterans treated by the VA. The cancer, classified as presumptively caused by Agent Orange exposure, is notoriously difficult to diagnose and often tricky to treat. That… Read More

New Biomarkers May Be More Accurate than HbA1c in Diabetes Screening

New Biomarkers May Be More Accurate than HbA1c in Diabetes Screening

Although widely used to monitor glucose control and — more recently — to diagnose diabetes, HbA1c screening lacks accuracy in a range of patients with hemoglobinopathies, kidney issues or HIV. A new study, supported by the VA, lays out the… Read More

VHA Emphasizes Self-Management in New COPD Care Tool

VHA Emphasizes Self-Management in New COPD Care Tool

A new VHA self-management module is designed to help COPD patients help themselves. Slated for introduction later this year, the tool will allow patients to work more closely with their physicians to maximize lung function and improve the quality of… Read More

Recruits, Military Breathe Easier with Relaxed Asthma Accession Standards

Recruits, Military Breathe Easier with Relaxed Asthma Accession Standards

Unlike 10 years ago, the military services now accept recruits who had childhood asthma but have not been symptomatic since age 13. The relaxation of accession standards partly was necessitated by the increasing incidence of asthma in the general population.… Read More

Periosteal Stimulation Therapy Shows Promise in Knee Pain

PITTSBURGH – Patients with painful knee osteoarthritis who received electrical stimulation of the periosteum facilitated by acupuncture needles showed modest improvement in pain, according to a study at the Veterans Administration Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS). Background in the article, published… Read More

Study Looks at PT with Different Acupuncture Techniques

PHILADELPHIA — How does the safety and effectiveness of traditional acupuncture techniques compare to nonpenetrating acupuncture combined with exercise-based physical therapy (EPT)? That was the question asked in a study that included researchers from the Philadelphia VAMC. The answer: Puncturing… Read More

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

New Mothers May Need Counseling, Training to Pass Postpartum Military Fitness Test

By Annette M. Boyle FAIRFIELD, CA —Many women return to their units after pregnancy with one overriding concern: “Can I pass the fitness test?” The vast majority of those women do end up passing the six-month postpartum test, but their… Read More

Are Knee Injections by Rural Providers Cost-Effective?

SALT LAKE CITY - If enough patients are treated, training rural providers to perform knee injections for patients with osteoarthritis can be cost-effective, according to a new study funded by the VHA. Using the common threshold of $50,000 per quality-adjusted life… Read More

Gene Sequencing Helps Target Therapies for Metastatic Breast Cancer

Gene Sequencing Helps Target Therapies for Metastatic Breast Cancer

By Annette M. Boyle DURHAM, NC — Women initially diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer have only a 23% overall five-year survival rate — and will spend most of their lives battling their cancer with a series of chemotherapies that might… Read More

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

Consolidated Pharmacy Services in New DHA to Save $2B by 2019

WASHINGTON — The consolidation of 10 functions that have been performed separately by the Army, Navy and Air Force under the Defense Health Agency is projected to save $2 billion by 2019.

New VA Initiative Seeks to Reduce Opioid Use

New VA Initiative Seeks to Reduce Opioid Use

MINNEAPOLIS — A new initiative to reduce the use of opioids at the VA already is demonstrating some success at eight launch sites in Minnesota, where high-dose use of the painkillers has been reduced more than 50%.

Approval of Topamax for Migraines Extended to Adolescents

TITUSVILLE, NJ — Food and Drug Administration approval of Topamax (topiramate) for migraine headaches prophylaxis has been extended to adolescents ages 12 to 17. It was the first FDA approval of a drug for migraine prevention in this age group.… Read More