Gulf War syndrome

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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 classic literature ?
My friend, Aramis, here, has received a slight sword wound in the arm, but not enough to prevent him, as your Eminence may see, from mounting to the assault tomorrow, if your Eminence orders an escalade.
This was indeed a more serious charge than an ordinary assault and battery, and a corresponding degree of interest was manifested by the spectators in its result.
Rage found ladders, multiplied the torches, and, at the expiration of a few minutes, Quasimodo, in despair, beheld that terrible ant heap mount on all sides to the assault of Notre-Dame.
So sudden and unexpected the assault had been that the whites reached the gates before the frightened natives could bar them, and in another minute the village street was filled with armed men fighting hand to hand in an inextricable tangle.
cried Biscarrat, who, in his first assault, had seen the passage to the second chamber, and who, animated by the smell of powder, wished to guide his soldiers in that direction.
Fewer and fewer were the arrows that replied to the guns of the raiders, and at last Achmet Zek felt safe in ordering an assault.
From his point of view, the assault was unprovoked.
Tattered gamins on the right made a furious assault on the gravel heap.
A TURBULENT Person was brought before a Judge to be tried for an assault with intent to commit murder, and it was proved that he had been variously obstreperous without apparent provocation, had affected the peripheries of several luckless fellow-citizens with the trunk of a small tree, and subsequently cleaned out the town.
But--as a man who had been matchless held In cunning, over-reached where least he thought, To salve his credit, and for very spite, Still will be tempting him who foils him still, And never cease, though to his shame the more; Or as a swarm of flies in vintage-time, About the wine-press where sweet must is poured, Beat off, returns as oft with humming sound; Or surging waves against a solid rock, Though all to shivers dashed, the assault renew, (Vain battery
Forty thousand were killed in the street-fighting of Tokio and in the futile assault on the Mikado's palace.
And all so ill approved their entertainment, as they were, by the break of day, far more willing to hearken to a composition** than hastily to make any more assaults or entries.