TBI

Virtual Reality Is No Game for PTSD Patients Reliving Traumatic Events

Editor’s Note: U.S. Medicine writer Annette Boyle recently took an inside tour of the virtual reality program that has shown promise in helping veterans who suffer from PTSD. Here is her account. ATLANTA — It might look like a game,… 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

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

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

Routinely Used Concussion Screen Less Reliable More than 10 Days after Injury

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — A new study suggests the military’s current screening and diagnostic tool for concussion lacks utility when it is used more than 10 days following an injury. “The current study adds to the body of literature… 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

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

Powerful New Scanner Improves Diagnosis, Treatment of TBI, PTSD

WASHINGTON — A cutting-edge scanner that combines a whole-body, simultaneous positron emission topography (PET) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) could be invaluable in helping them better understand what changes are occurring in the brains of those suffering from TBI and… Read More

Concussions in Pro Football Players Provide Clues to Military TBI Treatment

Head Injury Leading Killer Among All-Americans WASHINGTON — Concerns about the long-term effects of repeated head trauma go far beyond military personnel injured in battlefield blasts. More than 50,000 Americans, most of them civilians, die each year from TBI, according… Read More

VA Tests Innovative Solutions to Veteran Unemployment

WASHINGTON — Unemployment among veterans is higher than the civilian sector, as servicemembers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have a difficult time finding a place in the work force. This has legislators attempting to understand the root causes of the… Read More