Office of Research & Development

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VA RESEARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE
 

In This Issue: The Aging Veteran

From the Chief Research and Development Officer drum circle
While our guiding principles have not changed, our organization has continually transformed itself to better accomplish its mission. One recent important transformation has been the development of the CREATE (Collaborative Research to Enhance Transformation and Excellence) funding mechanism to promote research that has a meaningful impact on VHA priorities...Read more
New Initiatives VA develops new relationships with NIHVA develops new relationships with NIH
In 1988, the National Institute of Aging (NIA), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), initiated a long-term study to examine the ways in which older adults' changing health interacts with social, economic, and psychological factors, and with retirement decisions. VA researchers are working with NIA to gather a Veteran cohort from the study. In addition, VA and NIH are working to build a close working relationship between VA's Million Veteran Program (MVP) and the new presidential Precision Medicine Initiative...

Prosthetics challenge launchedProsthetics challenge launched
In May 2015, VA challenged designers, engineers, and problem-solvers throughout the nation to submit ideas to help VA find new ways to provide innovative prosthetic and assistive technology solutions to challenges faced by ill and injured Veterans and other Americans...

Chaperone proteins may hold promise for Alzheimer's treatmentChaperone proteins may hold promise for Alzheimer's treatment
Molecular chaperones are a group of enzymes that ensure the proper assembly and disassembly of proteins and protein complexes. Dr. Chad Dickey's Biology of Degenerative Diseases Lab and others have begun to show that nearly all of human disease is in some way affected by chaperones—including Alzheimer's disease, which is the focus of new and ongoing research in Dickey's labt...

A Chat with Our Experts  Dr. Peter ReavenReflections on the VA Normative Aging Study
Dr. Avron (Ron) Spiro is a senior research career scientist with the Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center (MAVERIC), and a research professor in epidemiology and psychiatry at the Boston University schools of Public Health and Medicine. In 1986, he joined the VA Normative Aging Study (NAS) as a research psychologist and methodologist. Spiro, who collaborates with researchers at the Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research at the Bedford and Boston VA medical centers, is also the principal investigator for an NIH grant on Lifespan Outcomes of Military Service, and is co-investigator on several projects funded by NIH and VA that study health, personality, cognition, and aging. He spoke with VARQU about his work with NAS and the Lifespan Outcomes study...
Noteworthy Publications Mild TBI may cause early brain aging Mild TBI may cause early brain aging
Researchers with VA's Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS) found that Veterans exposed to bomb blasts showed fraying in their white matter structure—the same type of fraying that happens in the normal aging process, only at a much faster rate. Those exposed to a higher number of blasts tended to exhibit that fraying even more quickly...

Heart benefits to intensive type 2 diabetes management
 Heart benefits to intensive type 2 diabetes management
New long-term results from the VA Diabetes Trial show that intensive management of glucose levels can help prevent cardiovascular events such as heart attack, stroke, and congestive heart failure over a long period of time—even after the intensive management has been discontinued. However, no improvement was seen in the overall survival rates of those Veterans who had received the intensive management

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