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Gulf War Syndrome
gulfwarSince the war, Gulf War veterans have reported anomalous health problems that include a variety of chronic symptoms such as headache, fatigue, joint pain, rashes, respiratory problems, and neuropsychological difficulties. Despite a growing body of research on the health problems reported by Gulf War veterans, little is known about their nature or causes. Government review panels have generally not found a single "Gulf War syndrome" is likely to explain all of the health problems reported by veterans. At the same time, research studies have consistently documented similar types of symptoms and illnesses in different groups of Gulf War veterans and have invariably found these problems to occur at higher rates in Gulf War veterans than in veterans serving elsewhere.

Observed patterns suggest that excess morbidity among Gulf War veterans is associated with characteristics of their wartime service, and that vaccines used during the war may be a contributing factor.


The mental health of UK Gulf war veterans: phase 2 of a two phase cohort study PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 September 2002 00:00
“Objectives - To examine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in veterans of the Gulf war with or without unexplained physical disability (a proxy measure of ill health) and in similarly disabled veterans who had not been deployed to the Gulf war (non-Gulf veterans). Conclusions - Most disabled Gulf veterans do not have a formal psychiatric disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder is not higher in Gulf veterans than in other veterans. Psychiatric disorders do not fully explain self reported ill health in Gulf veterans; alternative explanations for persistent ill health in Gulf veterans are needed.”

“Population based studies have consistently found that veterans of the 1990-1 Persian Gulf conflict report symptoms around two to three times more often than appropriate controls. The symptoms reported are multisystem and non-specific, such as fatigue, sleeping difficulties, and irritability, which at present are medically unexplained. Markers of serious physical morbidity, such as admission to hospital and mortality, are not increased in Gulf veterans, with the exception of accidents. Complex multivariate statistical analyses have failed to identify a cluster of symptoms, conditions, or causal factors consistent with a new syndrome.”

“Common psychiatric disorders also seem to be increased in Gulf veterans. Depression, tension headache, and post-traumatic stress disorder accounted for a major proportion of clinical diagnoses in voluntary registers, but these were likely to have been over-represented by veterans who perceived themselves as ill. Population based studies have also shown that symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder are reported more commonly in Gulf veterans, but self reported more commonly in Gulf veterans, but self reported symptoms may over-estimate of underestimate psychiatric morbidity and have poor concordance with clinical ratings.”
Last Updated on Friday, 26 June 2009 00:09
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Disruption of the Blood-Brain Barrier and Neuronal Cell Death in Cingulate Cortex PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 01 January 2002 00:00
“Many Persian Gulf War (PGW) veterans have complained of illnesses affecting the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. These include chronic fatigue, muscle pain, brain abnormalities, ataxia, inability to concentrate, forgetfulness, and behavioral symptoms. During the PGW, the veterans were exposed to a combination of biological, psychological, chemical, and stressful environments. To begin with, to protect against the potential exposure to biological and chemical weapons, the United States and other troops received anthrax vaccine, botulinum toxin vaccine, and 21 tablets of pyridostigmine bromide (PB). The drug PB was employed as a prophylactic treatment to protect against organophosphate nerve agents. Second, chemical sensors and alarms employed throughout the region as warning devices to chemical and biological attacks were psychologically challenging, as they were extremely sensitive and could be triggered by organic solvents, vehicle exhaust fumes, insecticides, and chemical warfare agents. Third, pesticides were widely used by troops to combat the ubiquitous insect and rodent populations in the region. The pesticides include organophosphate chemicals, the insect repellent N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET), and the insecticide permethrin. In light of the above pattern of exposure experienced by the troops during the PGW, it is generally believed that the neurological symptoms displayed by PGW veterans are due to a synergistic interaction of PB with other chemicals such as DEET and permethrin and the stress.”

“The drug PB is a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor commonly used for the treatment of myasthenia and as prophylactic protection against organophosphate nerve agents. … an overdose of PB can cause apoptotic cell death in selected brain regions and mitochondrial damage in pre- and postsynaptic regions of the neuromuscular junction.”
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Prevalence and Patterns of Gulf War Illness in Kansas Veterans PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 01 January 2000 00:00
“Gulf War veterans have reported health problems that they attribute to their military service, but little is understood about the nature or extent of these conditions. To determine whether Kansas Gulf War veterans are affected by excess health problems, a population-based survey of 1,548 veterans who served in the Persian Gulf War (PGW) and 482 veterans who served elsewhere (non-PGW) was conducted in 1998. Gulf War Illness, defined as having chronic symptoms in three of six domains, occurred in 34% of PGW veterans, 12% of non-PGW veterans who reported receiving vaccines during the war, and 4% of non-PGW veterans who did not receive vaccines. The prevalence of Gulf War Illness was lowest among PGW veterans who served on board ship (21%) and highest among those who were in Iraq and/or Kuwait (42%). Among PGW veterans who served away from the battlefield areas, Gulf War illness was least prevalent among those who departed the region prior to the war (9%) and most prevalent among those who departed in June or July of 1991 (41%). Observed patterns suggest that excess morbidity among Gulf War veterans is associated with characteristics of their wartime service, and that vaccines used during the war may be a contributing factor.”

“Since the war, Gulf War veterans have reported anomalous health problems that include a variety of chronic symptoms such as headache, fatigue, joint pain, rashes, respiratory problems, and neuropsychological difficulties. Despite a growing body of research on the health problems reported by Gulf War veterans, little is known about their nature or causes. Government review panels have generally not found a single "Gulf War syndrome" is likely to explain all of the health problems reported by veterans. At the same time, research studies have consistently documented similar types of symptoms and illnesses in different groups of Gulf War veterans and have invariably found these problems to occur at higher rates in Gulf War veterans than in veterans serving elsewhere.”
Last Updated on Friday, 26 June 2009 00:10
Read more...