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Gulf War Web Site

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Review of the Past 12 Months

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     October, 1999 - RAND published its government-funded report that the pyridostigmine bromide ("p.b.") anti-nerve gas pills "could not be ruled out" as one of the causes of Gulf War Illness. RAND called for new research into p.b. and its possible interactions with organophosphates.
     October 25, 1999 - A Congressional Staff Research Report shows that Gulf War veterans in the Sarin fallout plume from Khamisiyah are 7 times more likely to be permanently and totally disabled compared to veterans not deployed to the Gulf. Gulf War veterans in general were 4 times more likely to be disabled than those not deployed.
     October 29, 1999 - Associated Press - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released a preliminary risk assessment on 40 organophosphate pesticides, stating there was some evidence that they could affect the nervous system in humans.
     November, 1999 - Gulf News (a DoD periodical) - a Canadian government study found that Canadian Gulf War veterans are reporting similar symptoms at about the same frequency as U.S. and British Gulf War veterans.
     Spring, 2000 - "Deployment Stressors and a Chronic Multisymptom Illness Among Gulf War Veterans," The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Vol. 188, pp. 259-266. The authors from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention found in the study of four air units that severe and mild-moderate illness was positively associated with self-reports of pyridostigmine bromide use, insect repellent use, and perceived threat from chemical or biological weapons.
     April 18, 2000 - Dr. Haley publishes research that Gulf War Vets show electrical abnormalities in the brain stem that mirror those seen in victims of the nerve-gas attack in Tokyo subway in 1995. Archives of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Vol. 122.
     April 20, 2000 - Dr. Abou-Donia at Duke University Medical Center publishes research indicating discovery of an anti-body bio marker for organophosphate exposure in the blood. Environmental Epidemiology and Toxicology, Vol. 2, pp. 37-41
     May 2000 - "The Role of Sand in Chemical Warfare Agent Exposure Among Persian Gulf War Veterans: Al Eskan Disease and 'Dirty Dust'." Military Medicine, Vol. 165, pp. 321-326. They point out the plausibility that chemical warfare agents from the aerial bombing of Iraqi production and storage facilities, and from the chemical agents at Khamisiyah and elsewhere, micro-impregnated the extremely fine dusty sand present in the region.
     May 19, 2000 - Sen. Hutchinson of Texas was instrumental in having $5 million earmarked in the 2001 DoD appropriations to establish a Gulf War Illness Research Center at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. She praised the work done for Gulf War veterans by Dr. Haley and the others at U.T. Southwestern.
     June, 2000 - "Brain Abnormalities in Gulf War Syndrome: Evaluation with H MR Spectroscopy," Radiology Vol. 215, pp. 807 - 817.
     June 9, 2000 - The Environmental Protection Agency announced that pesticides containing chlorpyrifos will be phased out by the end of the year because they can cause neurological effects.      Summer, 2000 - "Cardiovascular Stress Responses and Their Relation to Symptoms in Gulf War Veterans With Fatiguing Illness," Psychosomatic Medicine, Vol. 62, pp. 509-516. They found that compared to healthy controls, the same amount of mental work in the ill Gulf War veterans seemed to require greater effort on their part, as measured by cardiovascular function. They found this interpretation of the results to be consistent with reports that patients with chronic fatigue syndrome have reduced blood flow in the brain. The authors concluded that: "This pattern of results seemed to suggest a problem in the brain areas interfacing cognitive and autonomic activities. (This is also consistent with results of the June, 2000 Radiology article above.)
     August 3, 2000 - Stem cells from bone marrow can be reprogrammed in the lab to become nerve cells. Experimental Neurology, Vol. 164, pp. 247-256. This may eventually help repair brain damage from toxic exposure in Gulf War Veterans.
     September, 2000 - "Effect of Basal Ganglia Injury on Central Dopamine Activity in Gulf War Syndrome," Archives of Neurology, Vol. 57, pp. 1280-1285. Dr. Haley and 50 other doctors from U.T. Southwestern and the V.A. Hospital in Dallas found that the reduction in functioning neuronal mass in the left basal ganglia of the brain in ill veterans seems to have altered central dopamine production. The finding supports the theory that Gulf War Syndrome is a neurological illness.
     September 7, 2000 - the Institute of Medicine released its study, entitled: Gulf War and Health, Volume 1 Depleted Uranium, Sarin, Pyridostigmine Bromide, Vaccines. It is a 328 page book. It is a good synopsis. It was an assessment of the scientific literature concerning "the compounds of most concern to the veterans." They went through 10,000 abstracts and medical articles - "all relevant toxicological, animal, & human studies" on these compounds, at "any dose" level.

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