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Department of Defense (DoD)
Where There's Smoke: DoD Investigates Causes of Deployment-Related Pulmonary Symptoms Reported by Troops
Dramatic media coverage has helped raise concerns about pulmonary disease in troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Although servicemembers have reported increased symptoms, long-term damage from exposure to particulate matter has not been clinically verified. Now, the United States Army Medical Department and other DoD agencies are embarking on a number of investigations into deployment-related lung disease and exposures.
Crohn's disease is difficult to diagnose and complex to treat. For clinicians, the goal is to help their patients, who often are young, to achieve remission and enjoy a better quality of life. Continuing controversies over treatment guidelines can make that challenging.
How Long Before Early Adoption of Insulin Becomes Rule Instead of Exception for Difficult to Control Type 2 Diabetes?
New research suggests that early adoption of insulin can improve long-term outcomes in type 2 diabetes patients. Most practice guidelines, including the VA/DoD guideline, which was updated last summer, still call for oral medication, primarily metformin, as first-line treatment. Insulin currently is reserved for early-stage patients with contraindications or difficult-to-control symptoms, but the introduction of basal insulins, which allow patients to more safety and easily initiate insulin, could mean changes in practice in the near future.
Working against significant odds to develop a highly-protective vaccine against a parasitic disease, military researchers are seeking to prevent malaria, which kills as many as a million people a year around the world. The Army and Navy combined their malaria programs in 2007 to focus on the task with the goal of finding a vaccine with an 80% or higher protection rate for troops. The military research also benefits the population at large, with one discovery now in Phase III trials for a vaccine to protect infants in Africa.
Menopause once was a barrier to women reaching the top ranks of the military because of concerns it could cause “irrational decisions.” Those attitudes have changed, with more than 200,000 women in active duty and more than 50 of them serving as generals and admirals. To better serve their needs, military medicine and VA are taking a close look at women’s health services, including menopause, as the female cohort grows older.
The introduction of extended-use combination oral contraceptives (COCs) in the last decade has helped many women accept the concept of avoiding a monthly bleed and reducing their menstrual periods and withdrawal bleeds to a few times per year. This search for fewer or no periods has also led to the continual use of COCs to suppress menstruation for extended periods of time. Could menstrual suppression be a useful alternative for women in the military, especially those who are deployed and have difficulty managing monthly blood flow?
WASHINGTON, DC—Returning servicemembers are among the some 40 million Americans who suffer from chronic long term sleep disorders, and, for reasons ranging from disrupted sleep during deployment, battlefield stress or even hyper vigilance, their sleep problems can be especially challenging to treat. That is even more the case when post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, pain and traumatic brain injury (TBI) are involved.
WASHINGTON, DC—As more data is emerging on the short and long-term effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI), researchers are discovering that the injury affects women differently than it does men. Most notably, there seems to be a differential pattern of post-concussive symptoms among female compared to male OEF/OIF veterans with deployment–related TBI.
BETHESDA, MD—Due to its ability to track patient health data within its system and to orchestrate initiatives inside what is essentially a unified healthcare program, VA has played a pioneering role in showing how chronic disease treatment, such as for cardiovascular disease, can be improved over large swathes of a patient population.
WASHINGTON, DC—Last summer, DoD issued a policy designed to speed detection of mild traumatic brain injuries (mTBI) on the battlefield. Now, using new technologies to make the process as efficient as possible, the policy is being implemented in theater, according to DoD officials.
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