MOUNTAIN HOME, TN (WJHL-TV) – The Mountain Home V-A Medical Center held an open house of sorts today.
As part of National V-A Research Week 2016, the V-A discussed and showed off innovations that their researchers had made to advance health care for not only East Tennessee veterans, but for all veterans and for all Americans.
At Mountain Home, researchers in the Hearing and Balance Research Program are engaged in many projects, investigating balance disorders, treatments for dizziness, hearing loss and hearing aids. In fact, Drs. Faith Akin, Owen Murnane and Courtney Hall have earned national recognition for their efforts in the diagnosis and treatment of dizziness in Veterans with mild Traumatic Brain Injuries. In addition, Dr. Richard Wilson developed a test to evaluate word recognition in noise, called the WIN. This test that is now used in audiology clinics throughout the V-A.
Associate Chief of Staff for research at the V-A Owen Murnane talks about today’s event, “We are going to provide the audience, the attendees, with an overview of V-A research and the local V-A research programs, and then we are going to take people on a tour of some of our hearing and balance research labs and do some demonstrations so so that people can get a feel for the types of research we’re doing here.”
Many of the veterans returning from the most recent conflicts in the middle east come home suffering hearing problems and balance issues. Research into these problems are two of the big research projects being conducted on veterans volunteers currently at Mountain Home.
“Hearing is one of the main service connected disabilities for veterans nationwide so we have many, many veterans that have been in combat and even non-combat situations that have been exposed to high levels of noise. That is a real problem in the veteran population.”, says Murnane, “In the recent conflicts we’ve had, we’ve had veterans exposed to I-A-Ds, explosive devices. A lot of those veterans return with balance problems, many of them related to damage to the inner ear.”
Nationally, VA Research’s many accomplishments throughout the decades include the development of the first effective therapies for tuberculosis; the implantable cardiac pacemaker; the first successful liver transplants, and the nicotine patch. The future of medicine is determined by the research we do today. National VA Research Week 2016 honors the VA researchers and staff and Veteran research volunteers who together make pivotal contributions to the evolution of medicine.Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.