Clinical Topics


Neurology

First-Ever Study Focuses on How Well VHA Cares for TIA Patients

INDIANAPOLIS — While many healthcare systems measure the quality of their stroke care, looking at performance early in the vascular disease process can help avoid acute events altogether.

Neurology

New Research Addresses Unique Challenges to Brain Health Faced by Servicemembers

Neuroscientists are tackling some of the challenges to brain health predominantly experienced by servicemembers – and that has important implications for the broader population.

Neurology

Epilepsy Centers of Excellence Provide Options for Veterans With Drug-Resistant Epilepsy

Epilepsy is substantially more common in veterans than the general population and, in up to 40% of them, anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs) fail to control their seizures.

Neurology

Prevalence, Evolution of Non-Motor Symptoms in Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD) can cause a wide range of motor and nonmotor symptoms (NMS).

Neurology

Methylphenidate Improves Apathy in Veterans with Alzheimer’s

Apathy is a common behavioral problem in Alzheimer’s disease and can lead to everything functional impairment to higher medical costs to increased mortality.

Neurology

Mild TBI Improved by Low-Impulse Electric Stimulation

Low-impulse electrical stimulation (LIP-tES) to the brain shows promise in improving neural function in mild traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Neurology

Antipsychotic Use in Parkinson’s Ups Physical Morbidity Risks

PHILADELPHIA—Antipsychotic (AP) use in Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients is associated with increased physical morbidity, according to a study in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.1 The study, led by researchers from the Parkinson’s Disease Research,... View Article

Neurology

TBI, OSA Combination Affects Cognitive Function

WASHINGTON—Patients with TBI are considered to be at high risk for the development of sleep disorders, especially obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). In a study published in the journal Neurology, researchers posited that the combination of... View Article

Neurology

MS or Chronic Multisymptom Illness? Making the Tricky Diagnosis in Recent Veterans

Diagnosing multiple sclerosis in its early stages can be difficult in the best of circumstances.

Neurology

New Surveillance Registry Helps VA Provide Consistent Care to MS Patients

After several years of development and testing, the VA’s Multiple Sclerosis Surveillance Registry (MSSR) is ready for rollout — and that means veterans are likely to receive more consistent and better coordinated care.

Neurology

Epilepsy More than Doubles Mortality Risk for Veterans of Recent Wars

Meeting criteria for an epilepsy diagnosis significantly raises the risk of death among veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, a new study has revealed.

Neurology

VA Epilepsy Video Series Offers Hope to Patients Struggling With The Disease

For many veterans, the onset of epilepsy is terrifying, and a confirmed diagnosis does little to provide relief.

Neurology

Hormone Deficiencies Common in Concussion Patients

SEATTLE—Hormonal changes related to explosive blast-related concussions often cause military veterans to suffer sleep disturbance, fatigue, depression and poor quality of life, according to a new study.The research evaluating hormone levels in 41 male veterans... View Article

Neurology

High False-Negative Rate in Cognitive Screening

SAN DIEGO—Existing screening tools for mild cognitive impairment (MCI) miss too many confirming diagnoses, according to a new study.An article published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reports a false-negative error rate of 7%. Researchers... View Article

Neurology

Antipsychotics Increase Death Risk in Veterans With Parkinson’s Disease

PHILADELPHIA — Parkinson’s disease patients prescribed antipsychotics are significantly more likely to die in the short-term, according to a new veterans study.

Neurology

Medications Slow Progression As Well As Reduce Symptoms in MS

African-Americans 50% More Likely to Experience Significant Disability.

Neurology

Proposed Multiple Sclerosis Subtypes Could Benefit Patients, Researchers

VA Could Help Validate New ClassificationsBy Annette M. BoyleBALTIMORE — Sometimes consensus sounds like controversy. In 2014, the International Advisory Committee on Clinical Trials in Multiple Sclerosis recommended a revision to the four subtypes of... View Article

Neurology

Barriers to Study, Use of Marijuana for Epilepsy Treatment Continue to Fall

In the last few months, several federal agencies and Congress have taken steps to eliminate obstacles to the study and potential use of marijuana for veterans with epilepsy and other conditions.

Neurology

Guidelines Offer No Set Recommendations for How to Deal with First Seizures

While veterans and servicemembers who have experienced a single unprovoked seizure and the clinicians who treat them would like clear, consistent next steps, new guidelines take them into solidly gray areas.

Neurology

MRI Study Finds ‘Brain Scars’ in Troops With Blast-Related mTBI

“Brain scars” were detected in more than half of the active-duty servicemembers who underwent magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Neurology

Air Evacuation Could Worsen Condition of Brain-Injured Servicemembers

U.S. warfighters injured in combat in Iraq and Afghanistan had a 90% or more rate of survival, with a substantial part of that success attributed to medical evacuation teams that swiftly flew wounded servicemembers to locations such as Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany or to Brooke Army Medical Center in Texas.

Neurology

Pharmacist Calls to Cognitively Impaired Veterans Lowers Readmissions

By Annette M. BoyleBOSTON — For many older veterans, the transition from hospital to home can create confusion about which medications to take when. For veterans with cognitive impairment, the challenge increases — and so... View Article

Neurology

VA’s CKD Patients Lack Knowledge About Their Condition

CHICAGO — Chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients at the VA have insufficient knowledge about their condition, which is associated with poorer health outcomes, according to a recent study.The report, published in the Clinical Kidney Journal,... View Article

Neurology

Putting Heads Together to Improve Brain Injury Care

By Sandra BasuWASHINGTON — If you had more money for traumatic brain injury research, where would you invest it?That is one of the questions VA Secretary Robert McDonald asked TBI researchers at a recent conference... View Article

Neurology

Common Dementia Drugs Linked To Dangerous Weight Loss in Veterans

By Brenda L. MooneySAN FRANCISCO – New research on cholinesterase inhibitors is reducing the already limited options VA clinicians have to treat VA patients with dementia.More than a half-million veterans have Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and... View Article

Neurology

Prescribing of AEDs to New Veterans Deemed ‘Rational’

SAN ANTONIO — VA clinicians got a positive review for their prescribing of antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) in a cohort of Iraq/Afghanistan war veterans.“The patterns observed between AEDs and neurological/psychiatric comorbidities suggest that clinicians are practicing... View Article

Neurology

Focus on Protecting Troops Against IEDs Continues After Conflicts End

With blast-induced traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) the signature injury of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, research and intense military focus on improvised explosive devices (IEDs) have continued even as the military engagements have wound down.

Neurology

Subdural Hemorrhage Predicted to Increase More Than 50% in VA Patients

By Brenda L. MooneyNEW YORK — Over the next 15 years, chronic subdural hemorrhage (SDH) will become the most common adult brain condition requiring neurosurgical intervention in the United States, but healthcare systems may not... View Article

Neurology

New Guidelines: Six-Step Recovery Program Recommended for Military mTBI

Annette M. BoyleCHAPEL HILL, NC — Traumatic brain injury has been a signature injury of recent military engagements, with nearly 300,000 documented since 2000. Four out of five of those were mild traumatic brain injuries... View Article

Neurology

‘Undiagnosing’ Multiple Sclerosis: Managing Patients Who Really Don’t Have It

As many as 10% of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis actually don’t and are receiving treatment for the wrong condition.

Neurology

Then and Now: VA Innovates in Epilepsy Treatment and Evaluation

By Annette M. Boyle ALBUQUERQUE – The VA has played a critical role in advancing epilepsy research since 1969, when the first VA unit to study epilepsy — and the first comprehensive epilepsy program in... View Article

Neurology

Researchers Target Sleep to Improve Outcomes in Servicemembers with Mild TBI

ARLINGTON, VA - Up to 93% of servicemembers who sustain mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBIs) or concussions experience insomnia and more than a third develop obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep disturbances also can exacerbate other symptoms such as pain and irritability as well as impair cognition and social functioning.

Neurology

Pesticides Plus Gene Variant Increase Parkinson’s Risk

LOS ANGELES – Exposure to pesticides may increase the risk of Parkinson’s disease, and certain gene variants may make some people even more susceptible to the disease, according to a new study. The research, published... View Article

Neurology

TBI Increases Dementia Risks for Older Veterans

MINNEAPOLIS – Experiencing a traumatic brain injury (TBI) ups the risk 60% for older veterans to later develop dementia, according to a recent study. The report, published recently in the journal Neurology, also found that,... View Article

Neurology

VA More Likely To Treat Geriatric Veterans with Older AEDs

DURHAM, NC – Despite the availability of newer therapies, phenytoin remains the most prescribed antiepileptic drug (AED) within the VHA, according to a recent study. Researchers from the Southeast Epilepsy Centers of Excellence at the... View Article

Neurology

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.

Neurology

Brain Injury from Blasts Possible Without TBI Symptoms

By Brenda L. Mooney SALISBURY, NC – Veterans exposed to explosions during deployment but not reporting common symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) could have similar damage to the brain’s white matter, according to a... View Article

Neurology

VA Programs Seek to Keep Troubled Veterans Out of Jail

COLUMBIA, MO - For some veterans with unmet mental health needs, readjusting to civilian life can rapidly put them on the wrong side of the criminal justice system.

Neurology

Blast Exposures Associated with Long Term TBI Complications, PTSD

WASHINGTON - Warriors who served in Iraq and Afghanistan combat operations might experience lingering physical and psychological consequences of exposure to blasts.

Neurology

High MS Rates in Veterans: Don’t Blame the First Gulf War Zone

Military personnel serving during the first Gulf War have one of the highest incidence rates for multiple sclerosis (MS) ever reported, leading to speculation that environmental exposures in the war zone triggered the disease. Research... View Article

Neurology

VA Epilepsy Rates Rising with Returning Servicemembers

High TBI, PTSD Comorbidity in Recent Veterans By Brenda L. Mooney WASHINGTON — U.S. veterans deployed since 2001 suffer high rates of epilepsy and other neurological disorders, and the VA is challenged in both diagnosing... View Article

Neurology

VA Study: Vitamin E ‘Significantly’ Slows Alzheimer’s Disease Functional Decline

By Brenda L. Mooney MINNEAPOLIS — Could a vitamin found on drugstore shelves be effective in slowing cognitive decline for patients with Alzheimer’s disease? New VA research found that a daily dose of 2,000 IUs... View Article

Neurology

Proteinuria Lowering Can Adversely Affect Some CKD Patients

MEMPHIS, TN — Proteinuria-lowering interventions in patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) should be implemented cautiously, considering the potential for adverse outcomes, according to a new study led by researchers from the Memphis, TN,... View Article

Neurology

New Model Helps Predict ESRD Onset

MINNEAPOLIS — A newly-developed risk model can be used to predict the occurrence of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) and appropriately prepare for renal replacement therapy in veterans with advanced chronic kidney disease, according to a... View Article

Neurology

‘Ideal’ Blood Pressure Not Always Best for CKD Patients

MEMPHIS, TN — What’s considered ideal blood pressure measurement in most situations actually was linked with higher mortality rates in chronic kidney disease compared with patients with moderately elevated BP. A study led by Csaba... View Article

Neurology

Higher Risk of Brain Lesions For High-Altitude AF Pilots

By Brenda L. Mooney SAN ANTONIO — High-flying U-2 pilots may be paying a neurological price for their service. The elite Air Force pilots flying at high altitudes increase their risks for developing brain lesions,... View Article

Neurology

Veterans’ Study: Many Cancers, Chemotherapy Reduce Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

By Annette M. Boyle Jane A. Driver, MD, MPH BOSTON – A study involving more than three million veterans has found an intriguing inverse relationship between two dreaded diseases: cancer and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). New... View Article

Neurology

Gulf War Illness Can Affect Different Brain Regions

WASHINGTON — Gulf War illness may have two distinct forms, depending on which brain regions have atrophied. That could help explain why clinicians encounter veterans with different symptoms and complaints, according to new research. The... View Article

Neurology

Impulsivity Issues Not Caused by Parkinson’s Disease Itself

PHILADELPHIA — About 20% of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients experience impulse control disorder symptoms, but, according to a new study, the disease itself is not the cause of excessive gambling, shopping or other impulsivity symptoms.1... View Article

Neurology

Alzheimer’s Disease Affected by Diet’s Fat Content

SEATTLE — Diet appears to have some influence on the levels of proteins and peptides related to development of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study led by researchers from the VA’s Puget Sound Healthcare System.1... View Article

               
           

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