Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Study: Brain areas measurably smaller in Gulf War vets with health problems

Theories on the causes for health problems commonly known as 'Gulf War Syndrome' include vaccinations, toxic pollution from burning oil wells, an undetected chemical attack, and the use of depleted uranium in munitions. Other studies have shown that veterans deployed in the first Persian Gulf War and veterans deployed elsewhere at the same time have nearly twice the prevalence of chronic multi-symptom illness.

Veterans of the first Gulf War who developed numerous health complaints have areas of the brain that are measurably smaller than those of healthier vets, a new study found.

The results of the U.S. government-funded study are preliminary but provide some of the first hard evidence that veterans from the 1990-91 conflict are suffering from a real neurological illness, researchers say.

“Right now, for Gulf War veterans, there is a discounting of there being any physical basis for what might be wrong with them. But I think that what is really important about this brain imaging research is that it suggests that we really need to take their symptoms seriously, that there is a clear neurological basis for their complaints,” said study lead researcher Roberta White of Boston University School of Public Health.

Read the rest at Army Times