Category: Rehabilitation

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.

Novel Use of Technology Helps Decrease Impact of Wounds of War

By Stephen Spotswood SAN ANTONIO, TX – That soldiers come back from the battlefield bearing permanent reminders of their time there – scars they will live with for the rest of their lives – is taken as a heavy but… Read More

From Games to New Drug Therapies: VA Improving Mobility for MS Patients

By Annette M. Boyle BALTIMORE – Veterans with multiple sclerosis soon might find that having fun helps retain or improve mobility. A recent study published in the journal Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair found that home use of the Nintendo Wii… Read More

Navy and Marines Crack Down on Alcohol Misuse with Widespread Screening

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — If Navy leadership has anything to do with it, the misleading stereotype of the drunken sailor or hard-drinking Marine will fade into the past. Though Navy officials note that their alcohol-abuse problems are no greater… Read More

Howls of Protest Over No Assistance Dogs for PTSD Subhead: VA Refuses Funding

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON – The use of trained dogs has been accepted therapy since the 1960s for persons with visual, hearing and mobility impairments. Only recently, however, have service dogs been trained to assist men and women suffering from… Read More

Robotic Exoskeletons Allow Paralyzed Veterans to Exercise, Reduce Sedentary Effects

By Stephen Spotswood New York  — For veterans suffering from paralysis due to a spinal-cord injury (SCI), the inability to move a significant portion of their body is the obvious, immediate concern. Over the long-term, however, the extreme sedentary lifestyle… Read More

VA Telerehab Program Improves Post-Stroke Functioning

Participating in a home telerehabilitation program improves lower-body physical functioning after a stroke, as well as increasing the likelihood of maintaining a regular fitness routine, enhancing money-management skills and improving the capability to prepare meals and take care of personal… Read More

Novel Use of Fractional Lasers for Scarring Improves Quality of Life for Injured Troops

By Stephen Spotswood SAN DIEGO NAVAL MEDICAL CENTER, CA — Thanks to the work of physicians here and at a select number of facilities around the country, the paradigm of how scars are treated might be shifting. Whereas, in the… Read More

Can Virtual Reality Help Veterans Avoid As Well As Recover from PTSD?

By Stephen Spotswood  BETHESDA, MD — Research rooted in treating trauma in the civilian sector is examining how a combination of pharmaceuticals and virtual reality can help combat veterans recover more swiftly from chronic PTSD. Barbara Rothbaum, PhD, director of… 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

Human Performance Optimization Used to Prevent Common Injuries in Troops

By Stephen Spotswood NATIONAL HARBOR, MD — The term “human performance optimization” (HPO) emerged from a 2006 DoD quadrennial review which identified a need to promote warrior wellness and apply emerging technologies to human performance. The U.S. was engaged in… Read More

Prescribing Employment VA Program Helps Disabled Vets Get A Job

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — Work therapy has been a part of VA rehabilitative programs for decades, but only since 1984 has it been codified under a national clinical initiative. With the return of the latest generation of veterans, who… 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

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

VA, Paralympic Partnership Successful but Not Yet Available Everywhere

WASHINGTON — The partnership between VA and U.S. Paralympics, a division of the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has gotten veterans nationwide involved in adaptive sports as a further step in rehabilitation and to better re-enter society after a grievous physical… Read More

Poor Coordination Between VA, DoD Continues to Hamper Wounded Warrior Program

WASHINGTON — Poor synchronization between DoD and VA may be leading to a worsening of patient-care coordination. If the two departments do not start working together quickly to solve the issue, it could adversely affect the health of the veterans… Read More

Speech Pathologist Helps Impaired Veterans Regain Language Skills

WASHINGTON — Patrick Doyle, PhD, has spent the last 31 years — the sum of his career as a communication disorder specialist — working with veterans struggling with aphasia. Aphasia is an acquired communication disorder typically caused by stroke, and… Read More

Caregiver Stipend Program for Recent Veterans Creates Confusion for VA Health Providers, Beneficiaries

WASHINGTON — While VA has quickly rolled out its new caregiver-assistance program for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, speed may have come at the expense of transparency and consistency. Or, so said caregivers who report trouble understanding the limitations of the… Read More

Supervisor at DC VAMC Helps Vision Impaired See Possibilities for Their Lives

WASHINGTON—Lillie Kennedy’s office is a testament to what she helps teach veterans as the Vision Rehabilitation Supervisor at the DC VA Medical Center. Her computer is equipped with software that tells her what programs are open and can read aloud… Read More