Category: PTSD

VA Study – Stress Can Increase Inflammation and Worsen Cardiovascular Disease in Patients

By Stephen Spotswood SAN FRANCISCO — New VA research suggests that lifetime exposure to stressful events, such as those which cause PTSD, is linked to greater levels of inflammation in patients with cardiovascular (CV) disease. Higher inflammation generally leads to… Read More

Mental-Health Screenings Questioned After Shooting

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — In the wake of a killing spree that left 17 Afghan civilians dead last month, questions were raised about whether the U.S. military is effectively diagnosing neurological and psychiatric problems that can become ticking time… Read More

More Opioid Prescriptions Adverse Effects for Vets With PTSD

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — Veterans with PTSD are more likely than others to be prescribed opioids for post-injury pain, and that can lead to an increase in adverse mental and physical effects, according to a recent VA study.  “Iraq… Read More

Advocates say 40 percent of Vets Seek Counseling From Clergy and VA Partnership Could Help

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — According to VA statistics, four out of 10 veterans with mental-health challenges seek assistance from clergy — more than all other types of mental-health providers combined. Veteran advocates and researchers maintain, however, that VA has… Read More

Telemental Health Services Benefit Native Veterans

 WASHINGTON — After American Indian and Alaska Native veterans initially tried telemental health services, their use of any health services significantly increased, as did the proportion receiving psychotropic medication, a new study found.1 Telemental Health Services is the provision of… Read More

More Funding Requested for Veteran Healthcare – VA Questioned on Acquisition Tracking

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — Funding for veteran healthcare continues to increase in the Obama administration’s latest budget proposal, but legislators had some pointed questions about how well VA is tracking its spending for medical supplies and services. The administration’s… Read More

50-Year-Old VA Disability Rating System Just Now Being Fully Revised

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — For more than 50 years, the VA Schedule for Rating Disabilities (VASRD) has been the mechanism for determining how much disability compensation is provided to veterans. While the system has seen minor adjustments over time,… Read More

Claims Deadline Extended for Undiagnosed Gulf War Veterans

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — Continuing a pattern of easing the way for Gulf War veterans to seek care and compensation, VA has extended the presumptive period for them to file claims for benefits for previously undiagnosed illnesses. The change… Read More

Catalyst for Healing- Writing Helps Returning Troops Deal with Experiences

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — In 2006, Ron Capps was on his third combat deployment when he took a 9-millimeter pistol and drove out to the desert in Darfur. He said he was prepared to kill himself but was interrupted… Read More

Caffeine Shows Promise in Saving Lives of Brain Injured

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — The common chemical stimulant available in a cup of coffee or some soft drinks may hold promise for saving the lives of brain-injured troops. A recent preliminary study published in the journal Experimental Neurology suggests… Read More

Is the VA Mental Health Scheduling System Gamed? Senators Seek Audit

WASHINGTON — Frustrated by the numerous reports of veterans unable to receive timely mental healthcare at VA facilities, legislators have called for the VA Office of the Inspector General to conduct a formal audit of wait times. Sen. Patty… Read More

Suicide Rate Drops but Veterans Still Struggle to Get Mental Health Care

WASHINGTON — Reports about suicide prevention constantly focus on the difficulty veterans have in receiving mental healthcare, even though the suicide rate is dropping. In fact, there is little disagreement that the suicide threat is greatly diminished in veterans who… Read More

Mild TBI Remains Little Understood and Hard to Diagnose

BETHESDA, MD — With all of the attention given traumatic brain injury in recent years, it can be easy to forget that this is still a nascent area of medical science. It took six years of fighting in Afghanistan and… Read More

Brain Tsunamis Provide Clues to Prevention of Worsening Outcomes in TBI

Washington — If “brain tsunamis” can be prevented, it may be possible to keep some patients who have sustained a serious head injury from suffering devastating further damage to the brain, according to a new study. Jed Hartings PhD That… Read More

Tackling Combat Trauma Head On Helps Resolve Sleep Disorders

BETHESDA, MD —A problem with insomnia, one of the shared symptoms of TBI and PTSD, sometimes can be overshadowed by what seem to be more serious, immediate symptoms. For those suffering from sleep disorders, however, exhaustion can quickly take over… Read More

VA’s Mental Health Care As Good or Better than Private Sector Study Finds

WASHINGTON — Veterans with mental illness and substance abuse cost nearly three times as much to treat as the average veteran. According to a VA-commissioned study by the RAND Corp. looking at data from one year of care (2007), such… Read More

Senators: VA Not Responding Quickly Enough to Sexual Assault Disability Issues

WASHINGTON–With more than 3,000 servicemembers reporting military sexual assault (MST) just last year and with potentially nine times that many cases unreported during that time period, according to DoD, a lot of victims require VA mental-health services. The problem, according… Read More

Can Some Good Come from PTSD or Does the Bad Last for Generations?

WASHINGTON — Can some good eventually come from coping with high levels of psychological stress? Or, does PTSD not only affect returning troops but also their families for generations to come? As researchers grapple with helping troops deal with PTSD,… Read More

Anonymous Surveys Can Be Valuable in Military Mental-Health Screening Study Finds

WASHINGTON — Despite intensive efforts by the military to reduce the stigma of seeking help, troops still might be reluctant to report mental-health problems, suggests a new study of U.S. Army soldiers from one infantry brigade combat team. Troops undergo… Read More

Anonymous Surveys Can Be Valuable in Military Mental-Health Screening, Study Finds

WASHINGTON — Despite intensive efforts by the military to reduce the stigma of seeking help, troops still might be reluctant to report mental-health problems, suggests a new study of U.S. Army soldiers from one infantry brigade combat team. Troops undergo… Read More