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
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
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.
CAMBRIDGE, MA — About half of all soldiers reporting that they had tried to kill themselves said that their initial suicide attempt occurred before enlistment, according to a new study.
HOUSTON — About 40% of veterans with anxiety disorders receive a “placeholder” diagnosis that often remains with them indefinitely — and dramatically reduces the likelihood they ever will receive appropriate care, according to a new study.
PITTSBURGH, PA — Insomnia and other sleep disorders, which affect one out of every two servicemembers or veterans who have been involved in recent military operations, complicate co-morbid conditions and can be difficult to manage.
By Annette M. Boyle ATLANTA — The management breakdowns blamed by the VA’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) for the deaths of three mental health patients at the Atlanta VAMC are being resolved, agency leadership testified at a Senate… Read More
By Brenda L. Mooney Cynthia A. Leardman, MPH SAN DIEGO, CA – Despite common misconceptions, increasing suicides by military servicemembers do not appear to be related to combat experience or deployment – or even multiple deployments, according to a new… Read More
BETHESDA, MD — An easy 10-minute stress reduction technique can substantially improve sleep quality, according to researchers from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The 10-minute Tension Tamer was tested on 334 patients in a heart health program. Subjects attended… Read More
By Brenda L. Mooney ROCHESTER, MN — With sweeping new initiatives from the White House and elsewhere in response to the burgeoning military suicide rate, little guidance has been offered to the clinicians in the trenches who are best positioned… Read More
By Annette M. Boyle FORT DETRICK, MD — In the wake of a memo from Assistant Secretary of Defense Jonathan Woodson, MD, expressing concern about potential over-prescription of antipsychotic drugs for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, the Army and VA… Read More
By Annette M. Boyle SAN ANTONIO — Can cytokines, the signaling proteins secreted by immune system cells, offer a way to prevent development of schizophrenia in susceptible individuals or keep psychosis from occurring in veterans with the disorder? Dimitre Dimitrov,… Read More
By Annette M. Boyle BALTIMORE– For many veterans with schizophrenia, deficits in social skills commonly associated with the disorder can make maintaining relationships and achieving personal goals extremely challenging. The VA’s Social Skills Training (SST) program helps these veterans acquire… Read More
Cardiovascular disease risk factors often are comorbid with serious mental illnesses (SMI) such as schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder and bipolar disorder, yet these patients often don’t receive necessary care for those chronic conditions. In fact, veterans with SMI have fewer medical… Read More
By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON–The news that patients with TBI could have a higher risk of dementia later in life has reverberated far outside the veteran patient community where the research was conducted. With TBI accounting for 22% of casualties in… Read More
By Steve Lewis BOSTON–Headlines may focus on mental-health issues such as schizophrenia, often related to veteran homelessness or even violent behavior, but bipolar disorder actually is increasing far faster at the VA and can be especially challenging to treat because… Read More
For years, researchers have been working to discover which cellular processes allow humans to learn and store memories, and how these processes are compromised by diseases such as schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s. Researchers at NIH say they believe they have uncovered… Read More
Suicide among veterans has grabbed its fair share of headlines in recent weeks. Much of the focus has been on VA’s difficulty in providing timely care, especially to veterans returning from deployment with PTSD, TBI or other neuropsychological conditions. What… Read More
WASHINGTON — Mental health providers interviewed every single member of a 900-plus member Marine battalion that had sustained heavy losses in Afghanistan, as part of their reintegration upon return from deployment. While the effort to interview every member was… Read More
WASHINGTON — Does VA need to employ more aggressive tactics when it comes to getting veterans struggling with PTSD, depression and s ubstance abuse into treatment? Should some of those tactics involve using disability benefits as an incentive to receive… Read More
WASHINGTON — Acute stress is rampant among troops in Afghanistan who are experiencing “a dramatic increase” in the levels of combat activity, according to a recent study. The study found that stress and combat activity were significantly higher than levels… Read More
Army Brings Behavioral Health Programs Into Schools to Better Reach Children Struggling With Parental Deployment
Washington – More than 700,000 children have had one or more parent deployed to the Iraq or Afghanistan theaters of operation, and recent studies indicate that those children suffer significant rates of behavioral and stress disorders, according to a recent… Read More