Gulf War Syndrome News

Browse our library of news below or learn more about Gulf War illness symptoms, diagnosis and causes.

Gulf War exposures linked to brain dysfunction

 

A new study has found that veterans of the 1991 Gulf War were exposed to neurotoxins such as the anti-chemical warfare drug, pyridostigmine, insect repellants, and sarin, that caused changes in their brains.

Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Southern Methodist University, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Dallas studied 21 chronically ill Gulf War veterans from the same Naval Reserve construction battalion. The veterans all had symptoms associated with Gulf War syndrome. The researchers used digital brain imaging to determine if the veterans' ill health was associated with observable brain dysfunction.

The brain scans revealed that the veterans' brains differed from those of healthy individuals and that the degree of change appeared to differ depending on the specific chemicals and how much of them each veteran had been exposed to. The researchers also revealed that the changes also corresponded to different sets of symptoms.

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Gulf War Syndrome affects more than a quarter of veterans according to US panel

 

According to a report produced by a congressionally mandated investigation more than 1 in 4 US veterans of the first Gulf War suffers from a multi-symptom illness commonly referred to as Gulf War syndrome or Gulf War illness.

Prior to the report's release on Monday a change in position had slowly been taking place within the US government and military regarding Gulf War syndrome, but for much of the 17 years since the war in 1991 it had been dismissed and affected veterans given little medical or financial help.

Almost 700,000 US troops were deployed to the Gulf during Operation Desert Storm so if the figures in the report are correct that translates to at least 175,000 veterans left sick and unable to live any kind of normal life. A startling number and more continue to come forward.

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Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in Gulf War veterans

 

A new study finds marked differences in the onset of chronic fatigue syndrome between Gulf War veterans and the general population.

It has been established that there is a high incidence of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) amongst Gulf War veterans. Studies conducted around the turn of the millennium found that around 6% of veterans returning from the first Gulf War complained of fatigue and other vague symptoms and that 2.2% of these met the diagnostic criteria for CFS as laid out by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

These figures compare with an incidence of CFS in the general US population of only 0.4% as established by community surveys.

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Chemicals linked to Gulf War Syndrome

 

New research concludes there is sufficient evidence to link troops' exposure to certain chemicals with then subsequently developing Gulf War Syndrome.

In the 17 years following the first Gulf War a large number of veterans have experienced a range of symptoms that have come to be known as Gulf War Syndrome.

Research into what causes the syndrome has been limited but a number of possibilities have been suggested including vaccines, chemical exposures, and combat stress. Similarities with other poorly understood syndromes such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, and multiple chemical sensitivity have also been noted.

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UK government to recognize Gulf War Syndrome

 

Nearly 17 years after troops returned from the first Gulf War suffering from mysterious symptoms the UK government is set to officially recognize Gulf War Syndrome.

The Manchester Evening News reported at the weekend that the Ministry of Defence will finally recognize the existence of Gulf War Syndrome after sustained pressure from veterans and their families, as well as many in the political and scientific arenas.

It seems Defence Minister Lord Drayson admitted the change of position to Manchester peer Lord Morris, who has been an outspoken critic of the way veterans have been treated. Lord Morris has consistently sought to bring the problems faced by veterans to the attention of those in power.

The MEN quotes Lord Drayson as saying: "The issue of Gulf War Syndrome will be fully recognised by the Ministry of Defence and I accept on behalf of the MoD that this issue has not been handled well from the beginning.

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