250,000 Gulf War Veterans Suffer Brain Damage? Are Noxiious Chemical And Nerve Agents To Blame? (Video)

Newly Released Studies Offer Answers


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Two decades have passed since the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War. For many of those that served in the Gulf, the subsequent days, weeks, months, and years have passed slowly. Chronic pain, gastrointestinal disorders, extreme fatigue, depression, lack of coordination, joint and muscle aches, shortness of breath, mental confusion and memory loss are constant companions.

Informational data derived from studies conducted by the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs indicate as many as 250,000 of the almost 700,000 service men and women who served in the Middle East during the deployment in 1990 and 1991 report symptoms of Gulf War Illness, also commonly known as multi-symptom illness.

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Upon return from their overseas deployment, many of our military sought medical intervention for a diverse array of troubling medical problems. Like most hardened combat veterans, the majority of the men and women enduring symptoms were hesitant to complain. After all they had survived, a bellyache, headache or aching joints were to be tolerated without complaint. However, as the pain intensified and the mysterious illness led to the inability to function in daily life, medical help was demanded. Sadly, many medical practitioners, both military and civilian, diagnosed their symptoms as psychological, the unfortunate result of prolonged combat stress. Patients were offered a “Band-Aid” composed of pain management counseling, anti-anxiety medications, pain pills and morphine drips without ever addressing the root of the problem.

Today, 20 years after the disease was brought to the attention of the American Military, new research supports the view that the symptoms, known collectively as Gulf War Illness, are biological in nature.

Researchers at Georgetown University recently reported they have found neurological damage in Gulf War Veterans reporting symptoms of the mysterious malaise. Researchers employed magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate the brains of Gulf War Veterans both prior and after exercise. Researchers report the study validates damage in parts of the brain associated with pain and heart rate. Brain damage was not found in the control group, which included healthy veterans as well as civilians.

Researcher theorize the type of neurological damage found in Gulf War Veterans makes them acutely sensitive to pain, causes them to experience short-term memory loss and fatigue: classic symptoms commonly reported by ill Gulf War veterans.

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The extensive study published in the online medical journal PLOS on June 14, 2013, does not to attempt to explain the cause of the brain damage. The study indicated distinctively different patterns of damage in the two veteran groups, indicating that the disease follows different pathways in different people.

The authors of the study hope their findings, along with other ongoing research will offer clues in developing diagnostic test and effective treatments. Diagnosis of the illness is currently limited to self-reporting. Medical science had no definitive modality of treatment.

Two additional studies released by Georgetown University scientist also evidenced neurological damage in brains of veterans reporting pain, fatigue and memory loss. One study indicated abnormalities in the fragile nerve cells linking various parts of the brain involved in processing sensations of fatigue or pain.

Publication of the studies helps veterans prove their point. For all the many times they were told, “it’s all in your head”, the study proves that Gulf War Illness is real and not just in their imagination. Rakib U. Rayhan, the primary author of the latest study states, “There is objective evidence that something is wrong in the brains of these veterans.”

Critics of the study note that the subjects of the Georgetown study were self-selected and limited in number. 28 veterans and 10 non-veterans were tested.

The Director of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Drew A. Helmer, called the studies, “very preliminary” but also “a very important step forward.”

However, the leader of a group that studied Gulf War Illness in 1996, Dr. John Bailar, an emeritus professor at the University of Chicago, said the new study does not provide sufficient data to determine, if in fact, the veteran’s symptoms are linked to their deployment in Kuwait or other influencing factors.

“I am not questioning whether a substantial proportion of veterans of Desert Storm have symptoms related to their service,” said Dr. Bailar. “I am questioning whether those symptoms have any cause other than the stress of war itself.”

Desert_Storm_-_WEB-220x165Because so many Gulf War Veterans are convinced their problems originate and result from their exposure to noxious chemicals and nerve agents, the past 20 years have been fraught with frustration. Veterans are angry: feeling their government has been hesitant or unwilling to pinpoint and acknowledge the cause of their misery.

Dr. Steven S. Couglin, an epidemiologist previous on the staff of the Department of Veterans Affairs, testifying at a Congressional hearing in March 2013, stated that he felt like the government systematically down played the neurological basis of Gulf War Illness and seemed guided by their belief that the mysterious symptoms of Gulf War Illness were stress related.

Dr. Lea Steele, a Baylor University epidemiologist, also testified at the March Congressional hearings. Dr. Steel, a former member of the Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses stated, “This is a throwback to early speculation from the 1990s that there was no problem, or that veterans just had random, disconnected symptoms.”

In its June 14, 2013 online publication, USA Today reported that Eric K. Shineski, Secretary of Veterans Affairs had taken action to replace members of the advisory committee and restrict the committees independence. The USA Today report stated, Advocates for gulf war veterans say the changes are meant to rein in a committee that has consistently been more aggressive than the department in saying that gulf war illness is a physical condition related to exposure to toxins.”

images-10The Department of Veterans Affairs defends its research into Gulf War Illness stating, “VA is clear in its commitment to treating these health issues and does not endorse the notion some have put forward that these physical health symptoms experienced by Gulf War veterans are a result of PTSD or other mental health issues from military service. We know that much work remains and are committed to continuing to improve the provision of disability benefits, health care benefits, and other benefits and services to these veterans.

The June 24, 2012 online edition of Veterans Today reported, “The data that shows VA has not done well by the Gulf War Veterans of 90-91- Operation Desert Storm is piling up. These veterans are very ill and many have died in the intervening 21 years. The Gulf War Veterans truly feel like the Abandoned Forgotten Veterans. They are feeling like they were placed in the Expectant Triage Category at the time of the War and true action to help them has not occurred.”

Today, Persian Gulf War veterans have new reason to hope. Persian Gulf War advocates continue to fight for legislation and funding for research and treatment for this insidious disease that compromises, damages and destroys.


By: Marlene Affeld

References:

PLOS

Exercise Challenge in Gulf War Illness Reveals Two Subgroups with Altered Brain Structure and Function

NY Times

Researchers Find Biological Evidence of Gulf War Illnesses

USA Today

Advocates say VA gutting Gulf War Illness panel

Veterans Today

Gulf War Illness- Fibromyalgia Current News

 

9 Responses to "250,000 Gulf War Veterans Suffer Brain Damage? Are Noxiious Chemical And Nerve Agents To Blame? (Video)"

  1. Pat Garansuay   May 17, 2017 at 6:27 am

    I received a letter in 1997 from Uncle that stated I had possibly been exposed to sarin nerve gas. This, coupled with being required to take all the vaccines (injections and pills), I believe is why I’m worsening over the years. I blew things off the first 10 years or so after my return from Desert Storm, but I am increasingly concerned about my memory loss. It’s no longer something I can ignore. The chronic pain, IBS, and fatigue is frustrating, but I hate that I have to take thousands of photos and keep years of calendars and planners just to remember ANYTHING. I finally applied for compensation last year and will be seeing mental health today regarding the memory loss. Prayers please…

    Reply
  2. Wendie Brooks   December 28, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    It definitely has something to do with something that was in the sand, such as,chemical weapon residue. I was not over in the gulf during the war, however, I did get transferred into a Army Transportation Unit whose trucks had just returned from the Persian Gulf. Of course we spent weeks doing required maintenance on the vehicles, no respirators were made available to us and I was put on tire detail and was covered in this Persian Gulf sand head to toe everyday, for weeks. I finally ended up really sick with a respiratory illness that the doctors couldn’t diagnose and they tested me for everything. Now I find myself having all the gulf war syndrome symptoms. The only thing I and the soldiers who were over there have in common is the inhalation and exposure to the Persian Gulf sand.

    Reply
  3. HECTOR L. BUESO-MAS   November 24, 2015 at 2:52 am

    VACCINES STUPID. IT’S THE VACCINES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Reply
  4. MR AIDAN G WALSH   September 23, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    ‘internal ionization radiation injuries’ is the 100% cause and the Pentagon are f’n liars…21st century cover-up…millions more now will be coming down with this!! Fcuk the British idiots who have also covered this up, hope the full Government gets this!! That would be a blessing for all the ones they left to die!! Cabal Banking puppet Gangsters the lot of them Zionist pigs!!

    Reply
  5. nate tyler   September 19, 2013 at 9:50 pm

    What did the blood tests reveal? The video didn’t show the results. Hopegully soon, the U.S. Government will owe up to our Vets.

    Reply
  6. Tony Davies   July 23, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    Pity the British government arent reacting to our problems. 1000s of soldiers ill and homeless. Nothing bei g done for us, covenant to get priority health treatment doesnt work. More being made redundant now and still they carry on recruiting.

    Reply
  7. David DeGerolamo   June 16, 2013 at 7:10 am

    http://ncrenegade.com/editorial/this-is-how-the-government-will-destroy-the-2nd-amendment/
    Read the comments on Tea Party Nation also. This will be the means to disarm us.

    Reply
  8. Marlene Affeld   June 15, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    My son, Staff Sargent James C. Wildman, USMC served in the Persian Gulf War. He too is a victim of this horrid illness. I wrote this story for Jim.

    If you like the story, please forward the link via social media, like it on Facebook and post it on your blog. I really need your help.

    Don’t let our ill and wounded veterans down. Their story needs to be told. With your help to promote the link, it could go viral and reach millions of readers.

    Thank you again for all your help and support.

    With affection,
    Marlene

    Reply
  9. ~Rick~   June 15, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    It begins with the vaccinations…

    Reply

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