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Recent News

Insomnia disorder common in post-9/11 Veterans

Post-9/11 Veterans have “alarmingly high rates” of insomnia disorder, according to a VA San Diego Healthcare System study.... (10/20/2020)

COVID-19 ‘collaboratory’ leverages VA treatment data to probe effects of drugs

A VA research initiative is bringing together VA experts to analyze the use and effects of COVID-19 drugs with clinical partners interested in the safety and efficiency of these therapies.... (10/16/2020)

Study: Brain stimulation improves condition of patients with Alzheimer's

A VA pilot study finds that a brain stimulation therapy provided to patients with Alzheimer's disease improved their state of apathy, a profound loss of motivation and initiative and a feeling of social withdrawal.... (10/14/2020)

Study points to race, ethnicity as COVID-19 risk factors

A VA study found that Black and Hispanic Veterans were twice as likely to test positive for COVID-19.... (09/23/2020)

Study: Different emotions may drive male, female Veterans to attempt suicide

A new VA study finds that a much different set of emotions may have driven male and female Veterans to attempt suicide.... (09/17/2020)

Researchers striving to improve detection of kidney disease in VA

Two VA researchers are leading efforts to implement in VA a test they believe to be much more accurate in detecting kidney disease than the one in standard practice for decades.... (09/17/2020)

Pilot study: Fecal transplant helps alcohol cravings

Fecal transplant therapy is safe and can reduce alcohol craving in patients with alcohol use disorder, found a VA study.... (09/10/2020)

VA researcher develops 'smart bandage' technology for chronic wounds

Researchers at the Advanced Platform Technology Center have developed a high-tech bandage that uses electrical stimulation to treat pressure injuries.... (09/09/2020)

VA aims to validate effective treatments for COVID-19 patients through new initiative

New VA initiative is aimed at giving Veterans faster access to COVID-19 treatments and confirming their effectiveness. Its first trial is on convalescent plasma for treating seriously ill patients.... (09/02/2020)

Does smoking block potential benefits from stem cell therapy?

Scientists at VA Palo Alto are studying whether smoking may detract from the potential therapeutic effects of stem cells in the body. ... (09/01/2020)

VA health economist and team strive to make agency more efficient, effective

A VA health economics research program in Boston provides rigorous data analysis to support agency policy, planning, and evaluation.... (08/13/2020)

Survey data show Vets, on the whole, have good experiences with both VA and VA-purchased community care

Survey data from more than 1 million Veterans showed that overall, they reported positive experiences with both VA care and VA-purchased care in the community.... (08/04/2020)

Study: Veterans with PTSD more likely to have justice-system involvement than those without

A new study finds that Veterans with PTSD—compared to those without—are about 60% more likely to have justice-system involvement.... (08/04/2020)

Study offers insight on how PTSD affects response to depression treatment

An analysis of a large VA study on depression showed that patients with or without PTSD had similar relative responses to medication changes.... (08/04/2020)

VA participates in COVID-19 trial on drug used to curb inflammation

The VA hospitals in Houston and Miami are part of an international clinical trial on the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab. The trial is for hospitalized COVID-19 patients with severe pneumonia.... (07/27/2020)

VA works to raise awareness for lung cancer screening in Veterans

VA has partnered with the GO2 Foundation to increase awareness about lung cancer screening and to improve outcomes for Veterans affected by lung cancer.... (07/17/2020)

Meditation linked to lower cardiovascular risk

Meditation was linked to lower cardiovascular risk in a large database study that looked at data on more than 61,000 survey participants.... (07/10/2020)

Study: Men with HIV at greater risk of abnormal lung function

A new study finds a greater risk for impaired lung function among men with HIV, compared with men without HIV.... (07/10/2020)

VA technology center switches gears to produce COVID-19 medical supplies

The Human Engineering Research Laboratories is one of several large VA facilities that have switched gears to make medical supplies that help meet the demand triggered by the COVID-19 health crisis.... (07/08/2020)

Veterans helping to plan, shape research projects

Engaging Veterans in planning and shaping VA research studies has gained momentum in recent years. At the center of the movement are Veteran engagement groups.... (07/07/2020)

Study: Patient data can predict life expectancy for older adults with diabetes

A new study finds that clinicians can use patient data, such as a history of co-occurring health conditions and medication, to predict the 5- and 10-year life expectancy of older people with diabetes.... (06/19/2020)

Study finds VA does good job of preventing adverse events for chemotherapy patients

Patients receiving chemotherapy through VA were less likely to experience potentially avoidable hospitalizations than those getting Medicare-paid chemotherapy, found a study by VA Palo Alto researchers.... (06/17/2020)

Women Veterans Day

Women Veterans Day, June 12, is an appropriate time to recognize the role of women in VA's Million Veteran Program. More than 830,000 Vets are now enrolled in MVP, of which 80,000 are women.... (06/11/2020)

Lab study suggests way to stem long-term damage after brain injury

A VA lab study has shed new light on how repeated traumatic brain injury affects the brain, and suggests a treatment approach that could stem long-term damage.... (06/11/2020)

VA scientists testing new technology to absorb moisture, increase comfort with prostheses

Researchers at the APT Center are developing a material to better absorb and channel the sweat that can build up inside the socket liner of a prosthesis.... (06/11/2020)

VA pharmacist donates blood plasma as part of efforts to find treatment for COVID-19

Dr. Parisa Khan, a VA pharmacist and recovered COVID-19 patient, donated her convalescent plasma so it could be used as an investigational treatment for another patient struggling with the illness, as part of a nationwide program.... (06/02/2020)

Study points to race-based difference in prostate cancer progression

In a VA study, African American men whose biopsies showed low-risk cancer were more likely to have a higher grade or stage of cancer when they were later treated surgically, compared with white patients with similar histories.... (06/02/2020)

VA physician invents device to expand patient access to ventilators

A VA physician and his colleagues invented a device that allows doctors to customize air pressure settings for two patients using a single ventilator.... (06/02/2020)

VA scientists race to determine effectiveness of prostate cancer drug in treating COVID-19 patients

Nearly 200 Veterans are expected to take part in a study on the drug degarelix for treating male Veterans with the disease.... (05/22/2020)

Adaptive rock climbing has physical, psychological benefits for people with disabilities

A new study finds that indoor rock climbing appears to offer a "unique array" of physical, social, and psychological benefits for those with disabilities, including those with amputations, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury.... (05/11/2020)

VA Research works with industry, other partners to launch COVID-19 clinical trials

VA medical centers are involved in a number of clinical trials and other studies focused on COVID-19. VA's research office is also seeking to expand its role in COVID-19 trials.... (05/07/2020)

'I'm battling an encyclopedia'

VA researchers examined the beliefs and perceptions Veterans with diabetes hold about communicating with their physicians. Some complained their doctors use too much jargon.... (05/07/2020)

Review finds strong evidence on emerging biomarkers for Alzheimer’s diagnosis

Biomarkers—measurable physical signs of a condition—could be a useful way of testing for Alzheimer’s disease, according to a new review study by a VA team in Minneapolis.... (04/27/2020)

Exploring precision medicine for insomnia

In an interview with VA Research Currents, Dr. Elaine Boland, a VA research psychologist in Philadelphia, emphasizes the need for people with insomnia to receive treatments tailored to their needs.... (04/23/2020)

Brain organoids: Emerging method to study brain diseases

Brain organoids, made in the lab from cultured cells, are miniature replicas of areas of the human brain. Scientists are using them to model brain diseases.... (04/23/2020)

Can community engagement help Veterans at high risk of suicide?

A VA study aims to boost social connectedness among Veterans at high risk of suicide by getting them more involved in group activities such as music, tai chi, or fishing.... (04/22/2020)

PTSD, moral injury tied to pregnancy complications

Elevated symptoms of PTSD and moral injury can lead to pregnancy complications, found a VA study of women Veterans.... (04/14/2020)

VA, non-VA cardiac rehab provide similar benefits

VA and non-VA cardiac rehabilitation programs offer similar benefits, according to a new VA study, and "eligible patients with ischemic heart disease should participate in cardiac rehabilitation programs regardless of where they are provided," say the researchers.... (04/08/2020)

Environmental service workers are important element in infection control design

A study based at VA community living centers shows that environmental service workers have unique insights into infection control that could improve best practices. ... (04/08/2020)

Government often pays twice for Veterans' blocked-artery treatments

The federal government is losing millions of dollars by paying twice, in many cases, for Veterans' medical procedures, found a study by VA and University of Pennsylvania researchers.... (04/08/2020)

Study of nearly 2 million Veterans confirms links between weight and pain

In a database study of nearly 2 million Veterans with musculoskeletal disorders, heavier patients were more likely to report pain.... (03/31/2020)

VA's TRACTS program seeking breakthroughs on traumatic brain injury

VA Boston-based Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS) has been working to increase understanding of the long-term impact of traumatic brain injury on the physical and mental health of post-9-11 Veterans... (03/31/2020)

Large study of Veterans confirms link between fried food, heart disease

A large study that included data on more than 150,000 volunteers in VA's Million Veteran Program finds that the risk of coronary artery disease—a form of heart disease—rises based on the rate of fried food consumptio... (03/30/2020)

Researchers take new approach to detect, treat eye disease that can lead to blindness

A VA pilot study has shown the benefits of a hand-held device to detect early-stage diabetic retinopathy and a neuroprotective drug to potentially reverse the symptoms.... (03/02/2020)

Amid virus concerns, study offers insight on use of respiratory gear in hospitals

A recent VA study offers insight on the use of respiratory protective gear by health care workers. Why do nurses and other staff sometimes fail to use the equipment when it's required, or vice versa?... (03/02/2020)

Study probes user satisfaction with upper-limb prostheses

A survey of more than 400 Veteran users of upper-limb prostheses found little difference in satisfaction among users of myoelectric, body-powered, and cosmetic devices. Overall rankings fell just shy of "satisfied."... (02/20/2020)

Study suggests a more accurate approach to diabetes diagnosis

Using HbA1c (hemoglobin A1c) levels alone can lead to over- and under-diagnosis of diabetes, says a VA research team. They say oral glucose tests should be used along with HbA1c to ensure a proper diagnosis.... (02/12/2020)

Study: Higher opioid doses fail to lessen pain

Researchers from VA and three universities looked at prescribing data on more than 50,000 VA patients taking opioids and found that increased doses did not improve pain control.... (02/03/2020)

VA seeks to reduce use of popular but much-overused class of drugs

A national VA program is underway to reduce unnecessary use of acid-reducing drugs called proton pump inhibitors, and to disseminate best practices. VA researchers are evaluating the effort.... (02/03/2020)

Research improves tele-eye screening for Veterans

In 2015, VA launched the Technology-based Eye Care Services program, or TECS. The tele-eye screening program now serves 22 sites nationwide, and researchers are helping to ensure optimal effectiveness.... (02/03/2020)

Lab study: E-cigarettes may damage body's ability to fight infection

Electronic cigarettes may weaken the body's ability to fight infection, found a lab study by VA San Diego and University of California San Diego researchers.... (01/15/2020)

VA, DOD embark on new endeavor to study mysteries of traumatic brain injury

"Long-term Impact of Military Relevant Brain Injury Consortium," or LIMBIC, is the world's largest research cohort of Veterans and Service members that is dedicated to the study of mild traumatic brain injury (mild TBI), also known as a concussion.... (01/14/2020)

Spreading innovation across VA health care

VA's Diffusion of Excellence program spreads promising clinical innovations across VA health care. Estimates are that more than 100,000 Veterans have benefitted from innovations that came from VA employees and were spread throughout the VA system.... (01/14/2020)

Million Veteran Program study sheds light on genetic basis of anxiety

In the largest genetic study on anxiety to date, VA researchers found new evidence on the underlying biological causes of the disorder. The study used VA Million Veteran Program data to identify regions on the human genome related to anxiety risk.... (01/07/2020)

Health ranks as top concern for Veterans immediately after military service

In a survey of nearly 10,000 Veterans newly separated from military service, most were satisfied with their work and social well-being, but more than half reported chronic physical health problems, and a third reported chronic mental health conditions.... (01/02/2020)

Study supports long-term benefits of non-drug therapies for pain

A new study finds that non-drug therapies given to service members with chronic pain may reduce the risk of long-term adverse outcomes, such as alcohol and drug disorder and self-induced injuries, including suicide attempts.... (12/10/2019)

Oral diabetes drug linked to lower odds of colon cancer

A new study has linked the widely used oral diabetes drug metformin to lower odds of colorectal cancer. The study involved a large sample of VA patients with diabetes who had a colonoscopy.... (12/10/2019)

Study finds VA better than other systems at rating hospital performance

A recent study examined the accuracy and validity of four different health care rating systems. The researchers found that VA does a better job of measuring hospital performance than other government and private-sector rating systems.... (12/03/2019)

Study finds strong ties between social stress factors and suicidal thoughts, attempts

A new study finds that social stress factors—such as violence, homelessness, unemployment, marital problems, and a lack of access to care—have strong connections among Veterans to suicidal thinking and suicide attempts.... (11/21/2019)

Study raises new warnings about frail surgery patients

A VA study has shown that frail surgery patients may be at higher risk than previously thought, leading the researchers to conclude that "there are no 'low-risk' procedures among frail patients."... (11/13/2019)


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