Researchers have discovered new insights to the Gulf War Syndrome!
According to Natural News, researchers have made progress toward understanding a set of physiological mechanisms that underlie “Gulf War syndrome,” a heretofore mysterious illness involving a diverse set of symptoms that affected scores of troops who returned from Iraq during the Gulf War.
According to a recently released report by a congressionally mandated panel directed by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher, treatment research has risen substantially since 2008, and “early results provide encouraging signs that the treatment goals identified in the 2010 Institute of Medicine report are achievable,” the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RAC) said in a report presented to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki by the Committee’s scientific director, Roberta “Bobbie” White, chair of environmental health at BUSPH.
The institute, which is part of the National Academies of Sciences, had predicted that “treatments, cures, and hopefully preventions” could eventually be found using the right research methodology.
A Boston University press release detailing the research noted:
The RAC report updates scientific research published since the Committee’s landmark report in 2008, which established that Gulf War illness was a real condition, affecting as many as 250,000 veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War. The RAC Committee is composed of scientific experts and veterans.
“The conclusions of the 2008 RAC report had a substantial impact on scientific and clinical thinking about Gulf War illness, as well as the public acceptance of this disorder,” said White. The earlier report documented several studies that found evidence linking the syndrome/illness to exposure to pesticides and pyridostigmine bromide, an element found in anti-nerve gas pills that were given to troops, in addition to other toxic sources.
“Studies published since 2008 continue to support the conclusion that Gulf War illness is causally related to chemical exposures in the combat theater,” White said of the latest report. “And many studies of the brain and central nervous system, using imaging, EEG and other objective measures of brain structure and function, add to the existing evidence that central nervous system dysfunction is a critical element in the disorder. Evidence also continues to point to immunological effects of Gulf War illness.”
BU researchers said that troop exposure to nerve gas agents sarin and cyclosarin has been linked in several studies to changes in MRIs that are associated with cognitive impairments, which further supports the nervous-system effects of those agents which were cited in the earlier 2008 report.
“The Committee concludes that the evidence to date continues to point to alterations in central and autonomic nervous system, neuroendocrine, and immune system functions,” the report says.
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