Gulf War syndrome

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Related to Gulf War illness: Desert Storm syndrome

Gulf War syndrome,

popular name for a variety of ailments experienced by veterans after the Persian Gulf WarPersian Gulf Wars,
two conflicts involving Iraq and U.S.-led coalitions in the late 20th and early 21st cent.

The First Persian Gulf War, also known as the Gulf War, Jan.–Feb.
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. Symptoms reported include nausea, cramps, rashes, short-term memory loss, fatigue, difficulty in breathing, headaches, joint and muscle pain, and birth defects. Ailments have been reported by American, Canadian, Australian, and British veterans alike; in some cases spouses of veterans have reported similar symptoms.

The mysterious syndrome has sparked debate between veteran's groups, congressional investigators, and the military over questions of accountability, treatment, and compensation. Hypothesized causes have included parasites, biological and chemical warfare agents, prophylactic vaccines and medications given against biological and chemical warfare agents, fumes from oil well fires, and stress. In 1994 an advisory panel organized by the National Institutes of Health reported that the syndrome represented many illnesses and many causes; they deemed biological and chemical warfare agents unlikely as causes. Causes for the illnesses in many subsets of patients have been identified, e.g., some 30 veterans had leishmaniasisleishmaniasis
, any of a group of tropical diseases caused by parasitic protozoans of the genus Leishmania. The parasites live in dogs, foxes, rodents, and humans; they are transmitted by the bites of sand flies.
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, a parasitic disease spread by sand flies, but in many instances the cause has not been identified.

In 1999 researchers said that brain scans of some sick veterans revealed signs of damage caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, and a study in 2004 suggested that some veterans may have been sensitive enough to otherwise low levels of poison gases to cause symptons associated with the syndrome. A committee appointed by Congress said in 2008 that evidence suggested that acetyl cholinesterase inhibitors, which include the nerve gas sarin, an anti-nerve-gas agent, and pesticides used against sand flies, and a genetic sensitivity to such chemicals may be the cause of the syndrome. Some medical historians have pointed out that syndromes of undiagnosable diseases have occurred after other wars, including World Wars I and II and the American Civil War.

Gulf War syndrome

a group of various debilitating symptoms experienced by many soldiers who served in the Gulf War of 1991. It is claimed to be associated with damage to the central nervous system, caused by exposure to pesticides containing organophosphates
References in periodicals archive ?
The committee found 2,033 articles in the literature focused on Gulf War illness symptoms and closely reviewed 718 of them.
Prevalence and patterns of Gulf War illness in Kansas veterans: association of symptoms with characteristics of person, place, and time of military service.
Anxiety is common among vets suffering from Gulf War illness, Dr.
And those short attention spans had an effect, as cyclical news coverage raised and lowered public expectations for answers about gulf war illness.
The paper, "Cholinergic Autonomic Dysfunction in Veterans with Gulf War Illness," revealed a blunting or loss of normal nighttime parasympathetic activity in veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness was strongly associated with upper gastrointestinal dysmotility and sleep dysfunction.
The combination of the establishment of Gulf War illness as a real condition and renewed federal investment in the area could draw more interest from top researchers, she said.
A CALL for Government action, over the plight of those suffering from so-called 1991 Gulf War illness, is to be made in the House of Lords today.
These staggering statistics are followed by inconclusive results as to the cause of Gulf War illness.
Studies have documented the presence of chemical sensitivity symptoms in patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) (16), Gulf War Illness (15), as well as a high prevalence of CFS symptoms in those recruited as having MCS (8,).
A devastating report said the Defence Ministry lied about the effects of Gulf War illness on troops.
Senator Baldwin led the effort to fund research into the complex set of Gulf War Illness symptoms to ensure more effective treatments are available to our veterans.
A new study conducted in partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs and Rutgers University may help doctors find ways to better treat one of the main symptoms of Gulf War Illness (GWI).