Category: TBI

Study: Common Medication Given for PTSD Has No Benefit

WASHINGTON — An antipsychotic medication commonly used by VA to treat combat-related PTSD has been found to have no discernible benefit. Patients taking the drug risperidone (Risperdal) did no better than those taking a placebo, according to a recent VA-run… Read More

Long Wait Times for Mental Health Care Continue to Plague VA

WASHINGTON — Poor coordination and staffing problems were identified as major factors in veterans’ receiving inadequate care at Atlanta VA Medical Center mental-health clinics, according to a VA Inspector General (IG) report released last month. This report is the latest… Read More

Think VA’s Budget Has Grown Rapidly? You May Not Have Seen Anything Yet

VA’s medical-care budget has grown rapidly since 2001 —$27 billion or 130% — but government budget officials suggest that is a minor increase compared to what is coming: the lifetime costs of treating troops who have returned from Iraq and… Read More

Integrative Health Offers Military New Options for Mind-Body Wellness

WASHINGTON — A shortage providers and the perceived stigma attached to mental-health care may prevent troops from seeking services. Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) can help fill the gaps, according to a recent webinar on integrative health options for military… Read More

Center Uses Cutting-Edge Neuroimaging Techniques to Diagnosis, Treat TBI

With as many as 212,000 servicemembers suffering a TBI over the last decade, military clinicians are searching for the most effective neuroimaging methods to diagnose and treat the injuries.  “Our goal is to improve neuroimaging contribution to the diagnosis and… Read More

White House Report Puts Spotlight on Military, Veteran Drug Abuse

WASHINGTON — A recent report on federal government plans to curb drug abuse puts added emphasis on the active-duty military and the veteran population. It also focuses more attention on misuse of prescription drugs and, as far as recovery efforts… Read More

Study Looks at PTSD’s Effect on War Veterans’ Immune Systems

PTSD could be linked to a compromised immune system in war veterans, according to preliminary results of a study. The study, conducted by researchers at the University of South Carolina and the Dorn VA Medical Center,  could eventually lead to… 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

What Women Want: Assessing How VA Meets Health Care Needs

With an influx of women veterans entering the VA system in higher numbers than ever before, the department has given women’s health care high priority. One step in addressing this growing population is assessing what women are looking for in… Read More

Difficulties in Detecting Schizophrenia Can Have Serious Consequences in Military Setting

An Army private, who recently was sentenced by a military court to 12 ½ years in prison for the murder of an Afghan detainee, walked into a cell at a U.S. outpost in Afghanistan and shot the sleeping prisoner, according… Read More

Advising Patients on Sexual Health, Intimacy Issues After TBI

WASHINGTON — Sexual health and intimacy problems are important issues for those who have sustained a brain injury, and providers need to be able to address the topics with TBI patients, researchers said at the Federal Interagency Conference on Traumatic… Read More

While PTSD Research Has Accelerated, Much About the Disorder Remains a Mystery

SAN FRANCISCO — Research into PTSD has accelerated exponentially over the last decade. Where once it was understood as little more than a loose collection of symptoms, now researchers are beginning to define the pathology of the disease as well… Read More

Physical Ailments Begin Immediately After Deployment in Young Veterans with PTSD, Substance Abuse Disorders

WASHINGTON — Young veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan who are diagnosed with PTSD or substance-use disorders (SUD) are more likely to suffer from a host of physical ailments, particularly musculoskeletal disorders, according to study data recently released by VA… Read More

Psychiatric Care Provided in Theater Seeks to Contain Mental Health Issues

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

Who Is More Likely to Develop PTSD? Women Have More Sexual Trauma; Men Have Greater Combat Exposure

Paula P. Schnurr, Ph.D. The ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan are enabling researchers to learn more about a question that has plagued them for decades: Is there a difference between men and women who serve in the military… Read More

Congress Asks: In Wake of Court Ruling, Should VA Do More to Push Troubled Veterans Into Treatment?

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

Program Effective in MS Patients Now Used to Improve Memory in TBI Sufferers

Nancy Chiaravalloti, PhD WASHINGTON — Exercises that have proven effective in improving the cognitive skills of multiple sclerosis patients also may be useful in treating symptoms of TBI. Researchers using a memory-rehabilitation tool that has helped MS patients… Read More

Military Hopes mTBI Care Will Be Improved by On-site MRIs in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON — Currently, when troops in Afghanistan suffer a head injury and require magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), they generally must be flown to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. That ordeal may be keeping some servicemembers from reporting symptoms and… Read More

Study: High Combat Activity Producing Epidemic of Acute Stress in Afghanistan

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

IOM Panel: Early Nutrition Therapy Can Be Benefit to Wounded Warriors with Severe TBI

Washington – Severe traumatic brain injusry (TBI) may be a complex medical condition with serious long-term consequences, but the latest recommendations are for a relatively simple change in diet to improve morbidity and mortality. A recently released Institute of Medicine… Read More