VA Boston Healthcare System
News from VA Boston Healthcare System
Press Releases, for more information contact Pallas A. Wahl 857-203-5879
Better with Age? VA study finds Concentration Ability Highest in Mid 40s
(Aug. 12, 2015)
Are you still paying attention? Well that may depend on how old you are. Researchers from VA Boston Healthcare System and Harvard University have discovered a person’s ability to sustain attention is greatest at around 43.
When some people think of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI), or concussion, they think of someone getting “knocked out” or feeling “fuzzy” after getting hit in the head. Indeed, doctors use these very symptoms to diagnose a concussion. However, VA Boston Healthcare System (VA BHS) researchers from the Translational Research Center for TBI and Stress Disorders (TRACTS) published new findings that challenge the idea that brain injury only occurs when it produces changes in thinking ability at the time of the injury.
Older adults who have greater heart and lung health also have better memory recall and cognitive capabilities. The study, which appears online in the Journal of Gerontology, examines the relationship between cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), memory and cognition in young and older adults.
A recent prospective randomized placebo controlled clinical trial reports that calcium and vitamin D supplementation improves bone density in a group of male veterans with epilepsy who were treated chronically with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs). The results published in Epilepsia, a journal of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), suggest that risedronate, a bisphosphonate, may help to prevent new vertebral fractures when taken with calcium and vitamin D supplementation.
According to a new study, many Boston-area military veterans diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced flashbacks, unwanted memories and other psychological effects as a result of the Boston Marathon Bombing in April 2013. The study raises awareness of the effects that tragic events such as terror attacks and mass shootings have not only those directly affected but also on those with PTSD and other preexisting psychological conditions. The researchers urge healthcare systems to be prepared in the future to treat individuals who were either directly or indirectly affected by such tragedies.
Study Looks at What Makes Soldiers Reach for a Pack of Cigarettes or Not-Christopher B. Harte
(Jan. 29, 2014)
Is it possible to predict which soldier will start smoking and which one will maybe quit? Yes, says Christopher B. Harte of the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine in the US, especially when factors such as alcohol use, gender, a soldier’s rank, war zone stressors and unit support are considered. A new study¹ led by Harte, published in the Springer journal Annals of Behavioral Medicine², looks at smoking behavior in the military.