Health Highlights: Dec. 16, 2013

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

U.S. Says Vets Ill Due to Brain Injury Will Have Easier Access to Care, Compensation

New rules to make it easier for veterans to receive health care and compensation for depression, Parkinson's disease, dementia and other illnesses associated with traumatic brain injury have been introduced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Unprovoked seizures and hormone deficiency diseases related to the hypothalamus, pituitary or adrenal glands, will also be included on the list, The New York Times reported.

Thousands of veterans are likely to file claims under the new regulations, which will be published Tuesday in the Federal Register and take effect Jan. 16, 2014.

Federal government statistics show that more than 287,000 active-duty service members and veterans have suffered traumatic brain injuries since 2000, and about 62,000 of those injuries have occurred since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Times reported.

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