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Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Living With a Mystery Disease: One Woman’s Story

At 31, Susan Thornton developed an itchy rash around her waist.

Agencies Home

Opioid Use Generally Moderate in OEF, OIF, OND Veterans

LITTLE ROCK, AR — With continuing concern about opioid use in veterans, especially those serving in Afghanistan (OEF) and Iraq (OIF and OND), a new study provided a detailed analysis of the issue.

Addiction

Alcohol Abuse, PTSD Can Be Treated Simultaneously

DURHAM, NC — Many servicemembers and veterans seeking treatment for alcohol problems have experienced the life-threatening stress of combat, many have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and many servicemembers and veterans seeking treatment for PTSD also have alcohol or other substance problems.

Addiction

New Soldiers’ Alcohol Abuse Linked to Mental Disorders

LA JOLLA, CA— Problem drinking that predates enlistment into military service might be a contributor to the overall burden of alcohol misuse and mental disorders in the U.S. Armed Forces, but evidence remains somewhat limited.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

Melanoma Mortality Trends Vary By States, Region

Whether death rates from melanoma are going up or down in the United States depends on the state and region, according to a research letter published online by JAMA Dermatology.

December 2016

Metformin Might Improve Colorectal Cancer Survival

Recent clinical studies have suggested that the common diabetes drug metformin holds promise in improving colorectal cancer survival, but the small number of patients and inconsistencies related to diabetic severity have limited the significance of that research.

Asthma

New Study Finds More Evidence of Burn Pit, Respiratory Illness Connection

For years, multiple veterans’ groups have contended that burn-pit exposure in Iraq and Afghanistan increased the risk of long-term health problems.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Work Inspired Radiologist’s Research, Book About Mitochondrial Issues

Mark Hom, MD, says he began seriously thinking about the biology behind fitness during a “midlife crisis.”

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Study Questions Pathogenesis of GERD

DALLAS—A small, single-center study led by researchers from the Dallas VAMC suggests that gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) might be caused by an immune reaction, rather than direct chemical injury from stomach acids.Results were published online... View Article

July 2016

Intense Exercise Improves Erectile Function Despite Race

DURHAM, NC—With a growing interest in using exercise to treat a variety of conditions, many studies have highlighted the relationship between better erectile function and physical activity but, in general, black men have been underrepresented... View Article

July 2016

Testosterone Replacement Not Linked to DVT, PE

KANSAS CITY, MO—With testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) prescriptions increasing several-fold in the last decade, concerns have been raised about a possible increased incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).Because data is lacking... View Article

CDC

Study Determines Patients Most Vulnerable to E. Coli H30

MINNEAPOLIS—The pandemic strain of drug-resistant E. coli H30 begins as a subtle, hard-to-detect infection, usually of the urinary tract. The strain is of special concern, however, according to a report in Clinical Infectious Diseases, because... View Article

April 2009

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

July 2016

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

Clinical Topics Home

Cryoablation Promising for Phantom Limb Pain

ATLANTA — Military veterans wounded in combat, as well as patients with complex medical conditions, such as uncontrolled diabetes, make up a significant portion of those grappling with pain that seems to appear from an amputated limb.

Late Breaking News

Agent Orange Exposure Shows Link to Multiple Myeloma

Multiple myeloma has been classified as exhibiting “limited or suggestive evidence” of an association with exposure to herbicides in Vietnam War veterans.

May 2016

Swedish Massage Improves Pain in Veterans With Knee OA

DURHAM, NC — Swedish massage appears to be a helpful option for VA patients with osteoarthritis of the knee.That’s according to  a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. It found that... View Article

May 2016

‘Booster’ PT Sessions Improve Osteoarthritis Treatment

PITTSBURGH — While the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) strongly recommends exercise therapy as a first-line conservative treatment for individuals with knee osteoarthritis (OA), evidence supporting manual therapy for knee OA indicates varying levels of... View Article

Current Issue

Lymphoma Survivors Should Be Monitored for Melanoma

ROCKVILLE, MD — While previous studies have reported that survivors of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) have an increased risk of developing cutaneous melanoma, risks associated with specific treatments and immune-related risk factors have not been quantified.To... View Article

Clinical Topics Home

Disrupted Metabolism Affects Lymphoma Development

SAN ANTONIO — New research directly links disrupted metabolism to a common and often fatal type of lymphoma, according to an article in Nature Communications.1“The link between metabolism and cancer has been proposed or inferred... View Article

April 2016

Continuous Glucose Monitoring Found Cost-Effective

BALTIMORE — Real-time continuous glucose monitoring (RT-CGM) is cost-effective in diabetes patients, according to a military study.In making that determination, a study team led by Walter Reed National Military Medical Center researchers used evidence from... View Article

April 2016

Severely Injured Warriors More Likely to Develop Diabetes

TRAVIS Air Force Base, CA — Severity of combat injuries influences the risk of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans to develop diabetes and other chronic diseases, according to a new study.The report, published recently in... View Article

April 2016

AMD Predicts Poorer Overall Survival in Older Women

PORTLAND, OR — What is the association between age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and all-cause and cause-specific mortality in a population of older women?Answering that question was the goal of a prospective cohort study at four... View Article

April 2016

Glaucoma Increases Cataract Surgery Complications

JAMAICA PLAINS, MA — A new VA study compared visual acuity outcomes, vision-related quality of life and complications related to cataract surgery in eyes with and without glaucoma.The retrospective cohort study was published recently in... View Article

April 2016

How Does Serious Hypoglycemia Relate to Atherosclerosis?

PHOENIX — Is serious hypoglycemia associated with progression of atherosclerosis in veterans?An investigation published recently in the journal Diabetes Care sought to answer that question and came up with a mixed answer.1Researchers from the Phoenix... View Article

Agencies Home

CAD Linked to Macular Degeneration in Veterans

LEXINGTON, KY — VA clinicians should co-screen for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and systemic vascular disease, according to a new study.The report, published recently in the Southern Medical Journal, notes that, although AMD — the... View Article

May 2011

Current Research in Respiratory Care

Rates of Respiratory Diseases in HIV-Infected Veterans Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, pulmonary hypertension and pulmonary fibrosis, as well as pulmonary infections, are more likely among HIV-infected patients than with uninfected patients, a recent... View Article

May 2011

Knowledge of Risk Factors Not Necessarily Valuable in Predicting Cardiovascular Disease

BETHESDA, MD—Five years ago, NIH started promoting a paradigm of medicine—one that was predictive, personalized, preemptive and always with the participation of the patient. That paradigm began with the ability to predict who was at... View Article

May 2011

NIH Releases Strategic Plan for Obesity Research

WASHINGTON—Recent months have seen a reinvigorated commitment to research targeted at curbing the obesity epidemic in the United States, including a number of completed studies from VA and DoD and the release of a new... View Article

2011 Issues

Congressional Funding to DoD for Cancer Research Approved Despite Resistance from Sen. John McCain

WASHINGTON—Cancer organizations were pleased that funding was not reduced for the peer-reviewed prostate, breast and ovarian cancer programs in DoD’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) in the FY 2011 Defense budget. “It is great... View Article

2011 Issues

President Proposes Slightly Larger Budget for NIH; Focus on New Research

WASHINGTON—The President’s proposed budget for FY 2012 includes no deep cuts in HHS agencies, and even includes a small increase for NIH research. But that increase is tiny in comparison to the boost in research... View Article

2011 Issues

Survey: Women Veterans Dissatisfied with VA Care, Especially Sexual Trauma Screening for New Enrollees

WASHINGTON—Women veterans are dissatisfied with many of the services provided through the VA health-care system, including screening processes for military sexual trauma (MST) that new enrollees receive, according to a survey conducted by the American... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Despite Success in Managing Warfarin Usage, VA’s Anticoagulation Units’ Role Likely to Change With New Drugs

Some 148,000 patients in the VA system receive anticoagulation therapy to prevent and treat cardiac disease, stroke and deep vein thrombosis (DVT), but the primary anticoagulation drug, Warfarin, which has been in use since the... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Where There’s Smoke: DoD Investigates Causes of Deployment-Related Pulmonary Symptoms Reported by Troops

The media headlines are almost as incendiary as the dramatic pictures of burn pits splashed across the front page. Blamed for generally harmful and even potentially toxic exposure, burn pits have become a focus of... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Numbers May Be Small, But Difficulty Managing Crohn’s Disease is Big Concern

Although the number of Crohn’s disease patients in the VHA and TRICARE systems is relatively small, the notoriously complex disease provides large challenges for the physicians who treat it. In fiscal year 2009, the... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

How Long Before Early Adoption of Insulin Becomes Rule Instead of Exception for Difficult to Control Type 2 Diabetes?

Improved glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes is grounded in lifestyle modifications and pharmacologic therapy. Whether to introduce insulin early as a pharmacotherapy for patients with type 2 diabetes is a question that... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

New Self-Assessment Tool Helps Physicians Monitor HIV Medication Adherence

When it comes to treatment adherence, HIV is far from the easiest disease to manage. The sheer number of medications, combined with the precision with which they must be taken, can stymie patients and physicians... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

More Effective Diagnosis Methods Are Critical in Reducing Lung Cancer Mortality

One of the greatest challenges in treating lung cancer is diagnosing the disease early enough to treat effectively. That’s why any new research on early indicators of the disease —such as a recent study on... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

With No MS Cure in Sight, VA Centers of Excellence Seek to Maximize Treatment

No cure is on the horizon for multiple sclerosis (MS), the pathology of which remains a mystery to researchers. The unpredictable disease, which degrades the insulating myelin of nerves, can strike with varying speeds, to... View Article

2011 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Although Herpes Zoster Rates Have Nearly Doubled in VA, Vaccination Levels Remain Extremely Low

The incidence of herpes zoster (shingles) in veterans seeking care at VA hospitals continues its steady increase, rising even since a 2010 report documented a near doubling of the rate using VHA Decision Support System... View Article

2011 Issues

Benefits of Robotic Stroke Rehab May Be Less Than Anticipated

WASHINGTON, DC—This time last year, a group of VA-funded researchers at MIT announced that they had developed a robot-assisted therapy for stroke patients that greatly improved patient outcome without significantly raising costs. In chronic stroke... View Article

2011 Issues

VA Facilities Exception to Rule with Stroke Belt Mortality

WASHINGTON, DC—Higher risk for post-stroke mortality in the so-called “Stroke Belt” does not seem to apply in VA facilities, according to recent research which cited increased awareness and best practice guidelines as making the difference.... View Article

2011 Issues

Researchers Explore Enzyme That Can Both Increase, Decrease Memory

BETHESDA, MD—A new study into the biochemical mechanisms that control memory has added to the hope that someday scientists will be able to strengthen a person’s ability to remember through chemical intervention. NIH-funded researchers at... View Article

2011 Issues

Inexpensive Toolkit Helps Prevent Alzheimer’s-Related Home Safety Problems, Mishaps

WASHINGTON, DC—A simple $76 toolkit with items typically found at any neighborhood hardware store has shown promise in increasing home safety for Alzheimer’s disease patients and reducing the strain on overburdened caregivers. It could be... View Article

2011 Issues

Indian Tradition of Family Care Can Delay Diagnosis, Help for Caregivers

WASHINGTON, DC—Risks for dementia are on the rise among American Indian and Alaska Natives (AI/AN), but cultural traditions sometimes have led to delayed diagnosis and, therefore, inadequate help for family caregivers, according to Indian Health... View Article

2011 Issues

Even Veterans With mTBI More at Risk for Dementia

WASHINGTON, DC—Since an Institute of Medicine report in 2008, there has been significant consensus that penetrating and severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) increases the risk for dementia later in life. The evidence was not as... View Article

2011 Issues

Statewide Initiative Uses VA Model To Improve Cardiovascular Care

BETHESDA, MD—Due to its ability to track patient health data within its system and to orchestrate initiatives inside what is essentially a unified healthcare program, VA has played a pioneering role in showing how chronic... View Article

2011 Issues

Public Health Officials Optimistic About Dengue Fever Vaccine in A Few Years

WASHINGTON, DC—With two-fifths of the world’s population at risk for dengue fever, a severe flu-like illness which sometimes leads to fatal complications, the development of a vaccine has long been an important, albeit elusive, goal... View Article

2011 Issues

VA Spending on Chronic Diseases Reflects Treatment Changes Over Last Decade

WASHINGTON, DC—The fastest growing segment of patients treated at the nation’s VA facilities are those with four or more chronic diseases, increasing from 15% to 22% in an eight-year period ending in 2008, according to... View Article

2011 Issues

DoD Provides New Grant to Study Simultaneous Vaccination Techniques

BLUE BELL, PA—Rapid vaccination of military forces may be necessary with emerging infectious disease and pandemic threats, but injecting combination vaccines that are formulated together can sometimes result in immune interference. In an effort to... View Article

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