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Gulf War Syndrome Blog

Related terms: Gulf War Illness, GWS, GWI, Desert Storm Syndrome, Persian Gulf Syndrome

Are There 2 Types of Gulf War Illness?

Posted 17 Jun 2013 by

FRIDAY, June 14 – U.S. veterans with Gulf War illness complain of different types of symptoms, and researchers now think they know why: There may be two distinct forms of the illness, depending on which areas of the brain have atrophied. "Our findings help explain and validate what these veterans have long said about their illness," said study lead author Rakib Rayhan, a Georgetown University Medical Center researcher. For the study, published online June 14 in the journal PLoS One, the research team conducted brain scans of 28 veterans with Gulf War illness before and after they underwent exercise stress tests. For 18 veterans, pain levels increased after exercise stress, and the scans showed a loss of brain matter in regions associated with pain regulation. Before exercise, these 18 veterans showed increased use of a part of the brain called the basal ganglia when asked to do mental ... Read more

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Brain Changes Could Contribute to Gulf War Illness: Study

Posted 23 Mar 2013 by

THURSDAY, March 21 – Many of the soldiers who served in the first Gulf War suffer a poorly understood collection of symptoms known as Gulf War illness, and now a small study has identified brain changes in these vets that may give hints for developing a test for diagnosing the condition. Around 25 percent of the nearly 700,000 U.S. troops that were deployed to countries including Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia began experiencing a range of physical and mental health problems during or shortly after their tour that persist to this day. Common symptoms are widespread pain; fatigue; mood and memory disruptions; and gastrointestinal, respiratory and skin problems. New research suggests that structural changes in the white matter of the brains of these vets could be at least partly to blame for their symptoms. White matter is made up of a network of nerve fibers or axons, which are the long ... Read more

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U.S. Vets With Gulf War Syndrome Need Individualized Treatment: Report

Posted 23 Jan 2013 by

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 23 – A one-size-fits-all approach to treating U.S. veterans with Gulf War Syndrome does not work, and therapy needs to be tailored to meet each patient's needs, according to a new Institute of Medicine report released Wednesday. The document – written as part of the institute's congressionally mandated Gulf War and Health series – evaluates the various treatments for Gulf War Syndrome in veterans of the 1991 conflict and recommends best approaches to managing their care. The official name for Gulf War Syndrome is chronic multisystem illness (CMI), which is defined as having symptoms in at least two of six categories – fatigue, mood and cognition (thinking ability and memory), musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, respiratory and neurologic – for at least six months. The condition affects at least one-third of veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Similar symptoms have ... Read more

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