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VA Reports Mental Health Service Improvements Since Release of Joint Action Plan

Feb 25 2019
In May 2018 the US Departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs created a 16-point Joint Action Plan to improve the mental health resources for service members transitioning from active duty to civilian life. The VA now reports that 7 of the 16 points have been completed and early data is very encouraging. In one month, for example, one-third of the 8,000 service members who participated in the Transition Assistance Program registered early for VA health care. For more on this report, please visit the VA website.


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Hormone May Explain Cognitive Decline in Adults Who Experienced Childhood Abuse

Feb 14 2019
Many people who experienced abuse as children also experience cognitive decline as adults. A new study has shown that the hormone interleukin-6 (IL-6) is commonly found in very high levels in these individuals. IL-6, which is involved in processes of swelling and inflammation, can be controlled with medication. Understanding the role of IL-6 may be an important new step to improve the lives of people who experience childhood abuse. For more information about this study, please visit the NIH website.

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New Study Indicates Link Between Gut Bacteria and Depression

Feb 04 2019
In a new study of the human microbiome, the complex ecosystem of microorganisms that exists inside a person’s body, researchers have found links between specific bacteria and depression. People with treatment-resistant depression had microbiomes that were less likely to contain serotonin- and dopamine-creating bacteria. Although more investigation is needed, this is a fascinating direction for future research. For more information on this study, please see this article in Forbes.

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