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VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
 

In This Issue: The Golden Veteran

From the Chief Research and Development Officer Timothy O'Leary, MD, PhD
Today more than half of the patients in VA medical centers are older than age 60. The work VA researchers are doing nationwide demonstrates a strong commitment to optimizing the health, well-being, and independence of these "golden Veterans." Read more
New Initiatives Dr. Steve SinghComparative study to track the efficacy and safety of implantable cardiac defibrillators is approved
A trial to study the safety and efficacy of implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) to prevent sudden cardiac death in patients 70 years old and older has been approved by VA's Cooperative Studies Program and will soon begin to recruit participants.

Vietnam Veterans to take part in nationwide Alzheimer's studyVietnam Veterans to take part in nationwide Alzheimer's study
Up to 1,000 Vietnam Veterans nationwide are expected to take part in a study, sponsored by the Department of Defense and led by a VA investigator, examining the impact of TBI or PTSD on the risk of Alzheimer's disease as Veterans age.

Relationship between diabetes and vascular inflammation in older Veterans to be studiedRelationship between diabetes and vascular inflammation in older Veterans to be studied
An ongoing study at the Eastern Colorado VA Medical Center is exploring the causes of inflammation in vascular tissue, with a special focus on the role of high concentrations of insulin.
A Chat with Our Experts Veteran Kenneth Hanners has his blood pressure taken at a fall prevention clinic at the Birmingham VA. (Photo by Joe DeSciose)GRECCs are hubs for geriatric research
VARQU spoke with Drs. Susan Cooley and Kenneth Shay of VA's Office of Geriatrics and Extended Care about the role VA research plays in helping care for older Veterans.
Noteworthy Publications Family involvement improves end-of-life-care Family involvement improves end-of-life-care
Researchers at the San Francisco VA looked at the records of 34,290 Veterans who died between 2010 and 2011 and divided them into two groups: those showing family discussions with the health care team in the last month of the Veteran's life, and those with no such indications.

Structured automated calls are a feasible way to increase informal support for heart failure patients' self-care management
VA's Center for Clinical Management Research led a study on an innovative approach to enhancing support from informal "care partners" for Veterans coping with heart failure.

Spreading best practices for end-of-life care
Researchers led by a team at the Birmingham, Ala., VA Medical Center created the "Best Practices for End-of-Life Care for Our Nations Veterans" (BEACON) trial to test a strategy aimed at improving end-of-life care at VA medical centers.

Azithromycin-based treatment for older patients hospitalized with pneumonia is linked to lower 90-day mortality
A team at the VA North Texas Health Care System and University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center studied the impact of a particular antibiotic used in pneumonia care—azithromycin—on the outcomes of Veterans age 65 and older.

VA partners with Alzheimer's Association VA partners with Alzheimer's Association
VA cares for more than 300,000 Veterans with dementia, and a recent study points to a promising new model to enhance the care and services they receive.

Ocular tremor does not originate from head movements Ocular tremor does not originate from head movements
A new study from the Richmond (Va.) VA confirms earlier findings by the same team suggesting that ocular tremors—an inability to maintain a stable fixed gaze—could be an early warning sign of Parkinson's disease.
See also
Honorable Mentions

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