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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

Army

MHS Implements Multiple Programs to Improve PTSD and Depression Care

In the year since the release of a RAND report critical of follow-up within the Military Health System (MHS) for patients with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, the DoD has released results of several new programs to improve screening, increase the number of therapeutic visits and track mental health measures.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

TBI Specialist Seeks to Customize Treatment for Brain-Injured Veterans

For the past eight years, Joel Scholten, MD, has enjoyed both a ground-level, exam-room view of traumatic brain injury (TBI) care in VA, as well as a bird’s-eye view of national policy, and both perspectives reveal the same thing: There are as many appropriate treatment plans for TBI as there are veterans suffering from the injury.

April 2017

Most Post-9/11 Veterans Report Doing Well at Work and at Home

BOSTON – The overwhelming majority of veterans of U.S. conflicts since the terrorist attack on 9/11/2001 are nothing like the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-addled, homeless opioid-addicts too often depicted in the media and in political campaigns.

April 2017

PTSD Impairs Blood Vessel Function, Increases Cardiovascular Disease Risks

SAN FRANCISCO — The relationship between post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and elevated risk for cardiovascular disease and mortality has been well documented in recent years. How PTSD specifically affects heart health, however, has been less clear.

Department of Defense (DoD)

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

Alzheimer's/Dementia

Treatment Tested to Break TBI-Alzheimer’s Link

FRANKFORT, KY — The cascade of events following mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) appears to increase the risk for developing a progressive degenerative brain disease, and researchers now are testing a treatment that might interrupt... View Article

July 2015

Cognitive Training Improves Psychological Health in TBI Patients

DALLAS — Strategy-based cognitive training improved not only psychological and neural health for veterans and civilians with traumatic brain injury (TBI) but also cognitive performance, according to a new study.The DoD-funded study, published recently in... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Military Brings Treatment Closer to Troops to Combat Growing Depression Issues

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Recent military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan have put the spotlight not only on PTSD and TBI, but also on depression, which often co-exists with both conditions. “The previously rising... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Complexity, Lack of Approved Therapies Challenges PTSD, TBI Treatment

WASHINGTON - When the American Psychiatric Association first added post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1980, it was quite controversial.

Department of Defense (DoD)

Who Has PTSD Now? New Definition Creates Challenges for Clinicians

By Brenda L. Mooney SILVER SPRING, MD – A new study raises critical questions about the change in the definition of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual... View Article

Current Issue

Institute of Medicine: DOD, VA Fail at Tracking Outcomes of PTSD Treatments

By Annette M. Boyle WASHINGTON – One of the signature injuries of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), affected 13.5% of soldiers and caused 502,000 veterans to seek treatment in 2012.... View Article

2014 Issues

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

2014 Issues

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.

2014 Issues

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.

2014 Issues

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

2014 Issues

With New Apps, Counseling Clients Can Use Smartphones to Help Themselves

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON —Helping patients learn to do diaphragmatic breathing as a way to control anxiety and anxious symptoms is much easier, thanks to technology. A mobile application, Breathe2Relax, has a self-contained tool to... View Article

2013 Issues

New ‘Roadmap’ Seeks Better Tools for PTSD, TBI, Suicide Research

By Sandra Basu FORT LAUDERDALE, FL — The newly released National Research Action Plan has created a “common roadmap” for federal agencies to tackle mental health research to include PTSD, TBI and suicide, DoD and... View Article

2013 Issues

CPAP Shows Promise for Ending Disrupted Sleep/Nightmare Cycle in PTSD

By Brenda L. Mooney JACKSON, MS – For veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), disrupted sleep and nightmares can be a vicious cycle — one feeding the other. Now, new research in the relationship... View Article

2013 Issues

New Research Shows Increased Cardiovascular Risks for TBI, PTSD Patients

By Brenda L. Mooney ANN ARBOR, MI – New research on short- and long-term cardiovascular risks from traumatic brain injury (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) could present significant challenges for the VA and the... View Article

2013 Issues

Survey Seeks to Establish Sexual Trauma Scale Unique to Military

By Stephen Spotswood Deleene Menefee, PhD. HOUSTON – In recent years, DoD officials have admitted publicly that military sexual trauma (MST) is a serious problem among the services, one that’s more widespread than previously recognized.... View Article

2013 Compendium of Federal Medicine

Do Military Service and/or Mental Health Issues Lead to Urinary Tract Issues?

By Stephen Spotswood Benjamin Breyer, MD, Urologic Surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center SAN FRANCISCO – One of the most important realizations by VA physician researchers in the past decade has... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

How Women Learn to Fear Might Explain Higher Rates of PTSD

VA Researchers Find Sex-Based Differences in Disorder By Annette M. Boyle SAN FRANCISCO — Why are women so much more likely than men to develop post-traumatic stress disorder? The answer could be differences in the... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Veterans with mTBI Could Be Affected by Hormone Deficiencies

Hypopituitarism May Cause Insomnia, Reduced Libido, Depression By Annette M. Boyle SEATTLE — For the 30% of warriors with concussive injuries whose symptoms fail to resolve in a few months, recent research offers new hope.... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

DoD Mobile App Helps Healthcare Providers Track Own Resilience

Tool Can Help Prevent Compassion Fatigue or ‘Secondary Traumatic Stress’ By Stephen Spotswood JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCHORD, WA— One of the most insidious things about trauma is that its effects can spread far beyond the initial... View Article

Army

TBI, PTSD Research Will Go On Despite DoD Budget Crunch

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – While 2013 has been a difficult year so far when it comes to the budget, the Military Health System’s top doctor promised that funding for traumatic brain injury (TBI) and... View Article

April 2013

Lawmakers Seek Continued TBI Funding to Benefit Veterans, Civilians

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – Lawmakers are calling for the reauthorization of legislation to help traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients and their families access rehabilitation, long-term care and community support . The legislation, known as... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Blast Injury Without TBI Diagnosis Can Affect PTSD Development

By Brenda L. Mooney BUFFALO, NY – Blast injury might be a factor in the development of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by servicemembers in combat, even if mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) is never diagnosed.... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

DoD, VA Seek Earlier Joint EHR Rollout

By Sandra Basu Then-Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki WASHINGTON — Then-Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta and VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki asked for a plan to speed... View Article

December 2012

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... View Article

December 2012

Widely-Used Citicoline Found to Be Ineffective in TBI Treatment

By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON – A compound approved for treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) in nearly 60 countries does not appear to approve function or cognitive status in patients, according to a new study.... View Article

December 2012

Physician Overcomes TBI to Return to Active-Duty Medicine

By Steve Lewis Lt. Col. Eric Holt returned to medical practice against all odds after suffering a traumatic brain injury. BETHESDA, MD – It never occurred to Lt. Col. Eric Holt, DO, that he wouldn’t... View Article

December 2012

Hyperbaric Oxygen Provides No mild TBI Symptom Relief at Specific Pressure Tested

Researchers Call for Larger Studies at Lower Oxygen Doses By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON – The use of hyperbaric oxygen to improve mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) resulted in no symptom relief at the exposure pressure... View Article

Battlefield Medicine

Researchers Investigate Ways to Jointly Treat PTSD, TBI Subhead: Two Conditions Often Co-Morbid in Returning Troops

By Stephen Spotswood BOSTON – PTSD and TBI are frequently co-morbid in veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan – so frequently that physicians are surprised when they find one without the other. And yet the two... View Article

December 2012

Children Affected by Physical, Mental Problems of Returning Troops

By Sandra Basu JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, WA—At a recent resiliency camp held here, 60 children getting ready for the return of a parent from long deployment were asked to write down all of the bad... View Article

December 2012

PTSD May Be Influenced More by Childhood Trauma than Experiences During Wartime

By Brenda L. Mooney AARHUS, DENMARK–Traumatic experiences in childhood, not wartime experiences, may have greater influence on which deployed servicemembers develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). That’s according to a new study from a team of... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Army, NFL Team Up in Offensive Against Traumatic Brain Injury

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — Only days before the opening game of the NFL season, the NFL and Army announced they were teaming up to raise awareness about TBI, an injury that plagues both organizations.... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Front-Line Clinicians Get Practical Advice To Help Combat Military Suicides

By Brenda L. Mooney ROCHESTER, MN — With sweeping new initiatives from the White House and elsewhere in response to the burgeoning military suicide rate, little guidance has been offered to the clinicians in the... View Article

Army

Potential Overuse of Antipsychotic Drugs for PTSD Patients is Under Review

By Annette M. Boyle FORT DETRICK, MD — In the wake of a memo from Assistant Secretary of Defense Jonathan Woodson, MD, expressing concern about potential over-prescription of antipsychotic drugs for treatment of post-traumatic stress... View Article

August 2012

Sergeant Major of the Army Recounts How He Overcame PTSD: IoM Report Calls for Annual Screening by DoD

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON —Sgt. Maj. of the Army Raymond Chandler III said he was faced with his “own mortality” in Iraq in 2004, when a rocket blew up in the room where he was.... View Article

August 2012

Telemental Healthcare Beneficial For Rural Vets with PTSD

A new study suggests that providing more telemental health could have an especially beneficial effect on treatment of rural veterans with PTSD.1 The study published in the June issue of Psychiatric Services concluded that health–service... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Seeks to Gather More Information on Women Veterans to Improve Care

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — With more women leaving the military and becoming healthcare-eligible veterans, VA is focusing more energy and funding than ever into women’s health research.. Despite spending more money on women’s healthcare... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Better Imaging Techniques Show Promise in Improving TBI Diagnosis and Treatment

By Stephen Spotswood BETHESDA, MD — A number of drugs have been shown to have neuroprotective benefits in animal models of TBI. When studies have moved on to human subjects, however, most have had poor... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

Single IED Blast Can Cause Degenerative Brain Condition

By Brenda L. Mooney BOSTON — Compelling evidence that a degenerative brain condition can be caused by a single blast, equivalent to a typical improvised explosive device (IED), raises troubling questions about the future healthcare... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Claims Backlog Also Caused By High Error Rate, Not Only Processing Speed

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — VA’s goal within two years is to have a claims-adjudication system that gets a first-time claim decision to a veteran within 125 days with 98% accuracy. The agency has a... View Article

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)

VA Seeks Increased Mental-Health Staff to Respond to Growing Needs Among Veterans

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON —VA’s announcement that 1,900 mental-health staff will be added to its roster is more reactive than proactive, VA Secretary Eric Shinseki told legislators at a recent hearing.   “A certain number... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

New Scanning Technology Could Pinpoint TBI Injuries and Aid Recovery

By Sandra Basu WASHINGTON — New technology could allow clinicians to determine precisely what brain functionality has been lost after traumatic brain injury,  according to a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center... View Article

Air Force

Servicemembers Lose Benefits after Improper Discharges for Alleged Personality Disorders

By Stephen Spotswood WASHINGTON — The U.S. military continues to use improper processes to diagnose significant numbers of servicemembers with pre-existing personality disorders (PD) and then discharge them, according to government documents obtained by an... View Article

Department of Defense (DoD)

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... View Article

Battlefield Medicine

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.... View Article

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