In the News

Know the Science: How Medications and Supplements Can Interact

National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Many Americans take dietary supplements along with prescription or over-the-counter medications. Sometimes, taking medications and supplements together may have unintended effects, including:

  • Increasing the medication’s effects
  • Decreasing the medication’s effects
  • Interacting with the medication in harmful ways

That’s why you should talk with your health care providers about all dietary supplements and medications you take. Learn more about talking with your providers, the different ways supplements and medications can interact, and how to read and understand labels on supplements—then test your knowledge.

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Home and Community Based Services

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

There are many Home and Community Based Services and resources to help Veterans remain independent and live safely at home, such as A Guide for Families: Keeping the Person with Memory Loss Safer at Home.

For example, one service offered by Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is Home Based Primary Care (HBPC). This health care service is provided to Veterans in their home. The program is for Veterans who need team based in-home support for ongoing diseases and illnesses that affect their health and daily activities.

Most times, Veterans have difficulty making and keeping clinic visits because of the severity of their illness and are often homebound, but that is not required. Watch this video to hear what HBPC providers, the Veterans they care for, and their families have to say about this program.

Other Home and Community Based Services include:

Many Veterans receive more than one Home and Community Based Service at the same time. And VA also provides support for family caregivers. Your VA physician or social worker can tell you if a Home Based Primary Care program is available in your area.

Need more help or information? Find a VA social worker in your area or visit


Study Suggests Depression After Traumatic Brain Injury Could Represent a New, Distinct Disease

Brigham and Women's Hospital

A new study led by Shan Siddiqi, MD, from Brigham and Women's Hospital, a founding member of the Mass General Brigham health care system, suggests that depression after traumatic brain injury (TBI) could be a clinically distinct disorder rather than traditional major depressive disorder, with implications for patient treatment. The findings are published in Science Translational Medicine.

"Our findings help explain how the physical trauma to specific brain circuits can lead to development of depression. If we're right, it means that we should be treating depression after TBI like a distinct disease," said corresponding author Shan Siddiqi, MD, of the Brigham's Department of Psychiatry and Center for Brain Circuit Therapeutics.

"Many clinicians have suspected that this is a clinically distinct disorder with a unique pattern of symptoms and unique treatment response, including poor response to conventional antidepressants—but until now, we didn't have clear physiological evidence to prove this."

Siddiqi collaborated with researchers from Washington University in St. Louis, Duke University School of Medicine, the University of Padua, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences on the study.

The work started as a side project seven years ago when Siddiqi was motivated by a patient he shared with David Brody, MD, Ph.D., a co-author on the study and a neurologist at Uniformed Services University. The two started a small clinical trial that used personalized brain mapping to target brain stimulation as a treatment for TBI patients with depression. In the process, they noticed a specific pattern of abnormalities in these patients' brain maps.

A unique brain network architecture in depression after traumatic brain injury: the study and the story behind the science. Credit: Shan H. Siddiqi

The current study included 273 adults with TBI, usually from sports injuries, military injuries, or car accidents. People in this group were compared to other groups who did not have a TBI or depression, people with depression without TBI, and people with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Study participants went through a resting-state functional connectivity MRI, a brain scan that looks at how oxygen is moving in the brain. These scans gave information about oxygenation in up to 200,000 points in the brain at about 1,000 different points in time, leading to about 200 million data points in each person. Based on this information, a machine learning algorithm was used to generate an individualized map of each person's brain.

The location of the brain circuit involved in depression was the same among people with TBI as people without TBI, but the nature of the abnormalities was different. Connectivity in this circuit was decreased in depression without TBI and was increased in TBI-associated depression. This implies that TBI-associated depression may be a different disease process, leading the study authors to propose a new name: "TBI affective syndrome."

"I've always suspected it isn't the same as regular major depressive disorder or other mental health conditions that are not related to traumatic brain injury," said Brody. "There's still a lot we don't understand, but we're starting to make progress."

One limitation of the trial is that with so much data, the researchers were not able to do detailed assessments of each patient beyond brain mapping. As a future step, investigators would like to assess participants' behavior in a more sophisticated way and potentially define different kinds of TBI-associated neuropsychiatric syndromes.

Siddiqi and Brody are also using this approach to develop personalized treatments. Originally, they set out to design a new treatment in which they used this brain mapping technology to target a specific brain region for people with TBI and depression, using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). They enrolled 15 people in the pilot and saw success with the treatment. Since then, they have received funding to replicate the study in a multi-center military trial.

"We hope our discovery guides a precision medicine approach to managing depression and mild TBI, and perhaps even intervene in neuro-vulnerable trauma survivors before the onset of chronic symptoms," said Rajendra Morey, MD, a professor of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine, and co-author on the study.


Half of US Adults Skip Common Health Screenings, Including Tests for Certain Diseases, Survey Finds

Fierce Healthcare | By Noah Tong
Americans are likely to skip important health screenings, and women have a less positive outlook than men regarding their current and future health prospects, according to a survey released by Aflac.
The survey, based on about 2,000 employed adults, examined attitudes, habits and opinions about health and preventive care and found that half of adults have avoided at least one common health screening. These screenings include tests for certain diseases.
But for the 51% of respondents who said they have had cancer, that diagnosis came following a routine checkup or screening. For Hispanic survey respondents, 72% of individuals said a diagnosis was discovered at a routine checkup.
Skipping regular checkups is common among individuals who feel healthy. One in 4 respondents said they miss routine checkups. Reasons cited include a conflict with work hours, the individuals are “not thinking about it,” a general dislike for going to the doctor’s office, insurance issues, fear of hearing bad news and the time commitment required.
Young people were least likely to take advantage of regular checkups. Just 40% of Generation Z respondents (aged 18-24) said they believe preventive care is important to overall health, but that number rose to 49% for millennials. Gen Z also reported they felt least in control of their mental and physical health.  
While men had an overall stronger view of their current health status and the ability to control it in the future, only 38% of women had a positive outlook about their weight and BMI. Just 40% of female respondents felt positively about their financial health.
"The results of the Wellness Matters survey put a spotlight on the need for individuals to have a more proactive approach to their health care," said Tom Morey, chief actuary of Aflac U.S., in a news release. "That is why Aflac is encouraging policyholders and others to take control of their health by building good health habits early, asking health and insurance providers questions, and prioritizing routine wellness checkups."
Among Hispanic survey respondents, 31% reported language is a barrier to accessing preventive care resources, leading to 72% of respondents saying they have avoided a wellness screening. And 61% of Hispanic respondents also agree that healthcare providers and organizations need to better educate the Latino community on why it’s important to be proactive with health and wellness.
Internal Aflac data show that its cancer wellness benefit claims dropped in 2022 compared to 2019. For every 1,000 Aflac policyholders, cancer policy wellness claims dropped 11% for those in their 20s and 9% for those in their 30s.

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Modifications for Home Accessibility: They Are Coming Home!...Now What?

Wednesday, July 26 (12:00 p.m. MT)

A free CEU eligible* webinar presented by Accessible Systems, a Lifeway Mobility company

Modifications for Home Accessibility is the next webinar in our Hospital to Home series. This CEU eligible webinar will focus on solutions to make a home accessible to help your clients/patients stay in their home for as long as possible.

Click to Register & See Other Upcoming Hospital to Home CEU Webinars

*All Webinars are the last Wednesday of the month at 12:00 p.m. MT* 

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