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Fall 2014
TABLE OF CONTENTS

VA Research Currents Fall 2014
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New studies Can lithium help stem suicide rate? VA study aims to find outCan lithium help stem suicide rate? VA study aims to find out
Some studies have suggested that lithium, used widely to treat bipolar disorder, may help prevent suicide. A new trial, expected to involve more than 1,800 Veterans at 28 VA sites, will test the theory ...
Key Findings Experimental drug packs double whammy against Alzheimer'sExperimental drug packs double whammy against Alzheimer's
An experimental drug being tested in lab studies at the Bronx VA not only blocks plaque-forming amyloid, but also spurs new brain cells ...

A walk a day may keep the Parkinson's symptoms awayA walk a day may keep the Parkinson's symptoms away
In a study by VA researchers and colleagues, patients who walked briskly for 45 minutes, three times a week, showed improvements in their Parkinson's symptoms. They were also less depressed and less tired ...

Unit cohesion could be key to PTSD resiliencyUnit cohesion could be key to PTSD resiliency
A VA study of nearly 800 National Guard and Reserve troops found that soldiers reporting more unit cohesion tended to be more resilient to mental health problems, including PTSD ...

Journal scan Study: More pain relief with new knee replacement method 
Study: More pain relief with new knee replacement method
A team at the Phoenix VA published promising findings from a clinical trial of a newer method for knee replacement surgery, called kinematic alignment ...

Mobile phones offer hope for reaching homeless Veterans
Mobile phones offer hope for reaching homeless Veterans
A VA study of homeless Veterans found that nearly all owned a mobile phone and were interested in receiving calls or texts about appointments and other health matters ...
Quarter-century lookback Diabetes wound care: Much progress in past 25 years, but challenges remain
Diabetes wound care: Much progress in past 25 years, but challenges remain
Diabetes and vascular disease can lead to serious foot ulcers that sometimes require amputation. A longtime VA clinician-researcher looks back at a 1989 study she did on the problem and talks about how the field has advanced ...

Technology horizons Diabetes wound care: Much progress in past 25 years, but challenges remain
Helping those with vision loss find their way
Researchers and engineers at VA's Atlanta-based Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation are working on new technology to help people with vision loss get around independently...

Awards and milestones VA spinal cord researchers receive Service to
America award
VA spinal cord researchers receive Service to America award
A dynamic research duo at the Bronx VA Medical Center received a prestigious Service to America medal for their work on behalf of Veterans and others with spinal cord injury ...

Fast findings Shared appointments help diabetes patientsShared appointments help diabetes patients
A team with the Durham VA Medical Center and Duke University reviewed past studies that compared shared medical appointments with usual care for patients with diabetes. They found the shared appointments were effective, by and large ...

PTSD tied to autoimmune disorders
In a study of more than 666,000 Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, those with PTSD were more likely to have autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, inflammation of the thyroid, and inflammatory bowel disease ...

Study reveals link between medical marijuana, opioid overdoses
States that allow medical marijuana tend to have lower rates of overdose from opioid painkillers, according to a study by VA and the University of Pennsylvania ...
Compound in Asian fruit may fight retinal diseaseCompound in Asian fruit may fight retinal disease
An international team including a VA researcher has found that a compound in the exotic mangosteen fruit may help combat a dangerous eye condition ...

Delays in filling prescriptions for heart drug linked to worse outcomesDelays in filling prescriptions for heart drug linked to worse outcomes
A VA study shows that post-stent patients who delay filling their prescription for an anti-clot drug are at more than twice the risk for heart attack or death within 90 days of hospital discharge ...

Possible weapon against triple-negative breast cancerPossible weapon against triple-negative breast cancer
VA researchers in Kansas City, Mo., gained more insight on a protein that they say may thwart an aggressive form of breast cancer, and pancreatic cancer as well ...


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