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Encyclopedia > Gulf War syndrome

Gulf War syndrome (GWS) or Gulf War illness (GWI) is the name given to an illness with symptoms including increases in the rate of immune system disorders and birth defects, reported by combat veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War. It has not always been clear whether these symptoms were related to Gulf War service. New research indicates that war veterans who have developed numerous health complaints have areas of the brain that are measurably smaller than those of healthier vets.[1] Illness (sometimes referred to as ill-health) can be defined as a state of poor health. ... The term symptom (from the Greek meaning chance, mishap or casualty, itself derived from συμπιπτω meaning to fall upon or to happen to) has two similar meanings in the context of physical and mental health: Strictly, a symptom is a sensation or change in health function experienced by a patient. ... A scanning electron microscope image of a single neutrophil (yellow), engulfing anthrax bacteria (orange). ... A congenital disorder is a medical condition or defect that is present at or before birth (for example, congenital heart disease). ... A veteran refers to a person who is experienced in a particular area, particularly referring to people in the armed forces. ... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ...


Symptoms attributed to this syndrome have been wide-ranging, including chronic fatigue, loss of muscle control, headaches, dizziness and loss of balance, memory problems, muscle and joint pain, indigestion, skin problems, shortness of breath, and even insulin resistance. U.S. Gulf War veterans have experienced mortality rates exceeding those of U.S. Vietnam veterans [2]. Brain cancer deaths, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and fibromyalgia are now recognized by the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments as potentially connected to service during the Gulf War. [3] The word fatigue is used in everyday living to describe a range of afflictions, varying from a general state of lethargy to a specific work induced burning sensation within muscle. ... A headache (cephalalgia in medical terminology) is a condition of pain in the head; sometimes neck or upper back pain may also be interpreted as a headache. ... “Hurting” redirects here. ... Indigestion is a condition that is frequently caused by eating too fast, especially by eating high-fat foods quickly. ... A brain tumor is any mass created by an abnormal and uncontrolled growth of cells either found in the brain (neurons, glial cells, epithelial cells, myelin producing cells, etc. ... Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, sometimes called Lou Gehrigs Disease, Maladie de Charcot or motor neurone disease) is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons, the nerve cells in the central nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement. ... Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) is a chronic syndrome (constellation of signs and symptoms) characterized by diffuse or specific muscle, joint, or bone pain, fatigue, and a wide range of other symptoms. ...

Contents

Medical problems by soldier nationality

Summary of the Operation Desert Storm offensive ground campaign, February 24-28, 1991, by nationality (click for detail).
Summary of the Operation Desert Storm offensive ground campaign, February 24-28, 1991, by nationality (click for detail).

About 30 percent of the 700,000 U.S. servicemen and women in the first Persian Gulf War have registered in the Gulf War Illness database set up by the American Legion. Some still suffer a baffling array of serious health impairing symptoms (Associated Press, August 12, 2006, free archived copy at: http://www.commondreams.org/headlines06/0812-06.htm most recently visited June 7th, 2007). The tables below apply only to coalition forces involved in combat. Since each nation's soldiers generally served in different geographic regions, epidemiologists are using these statistics to correlate effects with exposure to the different suspected causes. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2346x1650, 561 KB) Description: Map of Troop Movements from Desert Shield/Storm Source: US-Army images Licence: Public Domain File links The following pages link to this file: Gulf War ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (2346x1650, 561 KB) Description: Map of Troop Movements from Desert Shield/Storm Source: US-Army images Licence: Public Domain File links The following pages link to this file: Gulf War ... Combatants U.S.-led coalition Iraq Commanders George H. W. Bush, Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell Saddam Hussein, Ali Hassan Al-Majid, Hussein Kamel Strength 660,000 ~545,000 Casualties 345 dead, 1,000 wounded 25,000 - 100,000 dead, 100,000 - 300,000 wounded The 1991 Gulf War (also Persian... “Fights” redirects here. ... Epidemiology (Greek epi = upon, among; demos = people, district; logos = word, discourse), defined literally, is the study of epidemics in humans. ...


U.S. and UK, with the highest rates of excess illness, are distinguished from the other nations by higher rates of pesticide use, use of anthrax vaccine, and somewhat higher rates of exposures to oil fire smoke and reported chemical alerts. France, with possibly the lowest illness rates, had lower rates of pesticide use, and no use of anthrax vaccine. [4] (page 78). French troops also served to the North and West of all other combat troops (page 68), away and upwind of major combat engagements. A cropduster spreading pesticide. ... A vaccine is an antigenic preparation used to establish immunity to a disease. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Excess prevalence of general symptoms: (page 70) The term symptom (from the Greek meaning chance, mishap or casualty, itself derived from συμπιπτω meaning to fall upon or to happen to) has two similar meanings in the context of physical and mental health: Strictly, a symptom is a sensation or change in health function experienced by a patient. ...

Symptom U.S. UK Australia Denmark
Fatigue 23% 23% 10% 16%
Headache 17% 18% 7% 13%
Memory problems 32% 28% 12% 23%
Muscle/joint pain 18% 17% 5% <2%
Diarrhea 16% 9% 13%
Dyspepsia/indigestion 12% 5% 9%
Skin problems 16% 8% 12%
Shortness of breath 13% 9% 11%

Excess prevalence of recognized medical conditions: (page 71)

Conditon U.S. UK Canada Australia
Skin conditions 20-21% 21% 4-7% 4%
Arthritis/joint problems 6-11% 10% (-1)-3% 2%
GI problems 15% 5-7% 1%
Respiratory problem 4-7% 2% 2-5% 1%
Chronic fatigue syndrome 1-4% 3% 0%
Post-traumatic stress disorder 2-6% 9% 6% 3%
Chronic multisymptom illness 13-25% 26%

Possible causes

At the December 2005 Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses meeting [5] the following potential causes were still being considered, others which have been suggested through the years having been ruled out:

The following substances were found to be associated with increased GWI symptoms in combat soldiers, but have been ruled out except as confounding factors because the exposed non-combat cohort did not also develop symptoms: Depleted uranium storage yard. ... Anthrax vaccine is a vaccine against the infectious disease Anthrax. ... This article is about the medical term. ... Early detection of chemical agents Sociopolitical climate of chemical warfare While the study of chemicals and their military uses was widespread in China, the use of toxic materials has historically been viewed with mixed emotions and some disdain in the West (especially when the enemy were doing it). ... Also known as Nerve agents, it is the term used for a type of chemical warfare substance that interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses. ... Airborne exposure limit 0. ...

Other causes suggested have apparently been eliminated from consideration by authorities: A cropduster spreading pesticide. ... Mosquito on a bottle of herbal mosquito repellent. ... Pyridostigmine is a parasympathomimetic and a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor. ...

During the war, many oil wells were set on fire, and the smoke from those fires was inhaled by large numbers of soldiers, many of whom suffered acute pulmonary and other chronic effects, including asthma and bronchitis. However, none of the firefighter companies assigned to the oil well fires encountering the smoke but not combat have had any GWI symptoms [8] (pages 148, 154, 156). This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term for certain severe psychological consequences of exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful events that the person experiences as highly traumatic. ... A psychosomatic illness is one with physical manifestations and supposed psychological cause, often diagnosed when any known or identifiable physical cause was excluded by medical examination. ... Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) is described as a chronic condition characterized by a patients belief that they are experiencing several adverse and variable affects from exposure to otherwise low levels of multiple chemicals in modern human environments. ... Biological Weapons: Friend or Foe? By Dom Harris There is great debate about whether biological weapons are good or bad, and whether the world should be concerned about their development. ... RFNA is a rocket fuel (a storeable oxidiser): red fuming nitric acid. ... Rocket fuel is a propellant that reacts with an oxidizing agent to produce thrust in a rocket. ... For other uses, see Scud (disambiguation). ... Diagram of V-2, the first ballistic missile. ... An S-75 missile on camoflaged launcher An S-75 missile in elevated position An North Vietnamese S-75 site An S-75 missile in transit A Fan Song radar (left) and what looks like a Low Blow to the right The SA-2 Guideline is the NATO reporting name... Akash Missile Firing French Air Force Crotale battery Bendix Rim-8 Talos surface to air missile of the US Navy A surface-to-air missile (SAM) is a missile designed to be launched from the ground to destroy aircraft. ... Aspartame (or APM) (IPA: ) is the name for an artificial, non-saccharide sweetener, aspartyl-phenylalanine-1-methyl ester; i. ... Diet Coke (sometimes known as Diet Coca-Cola) or Coca-Cola Light (sometimes known as Coke Light) is a sugar-free soft drink produced and distributed by The Coca-Cola Company. ... 172. ... The heart and lungs (from an older edition of Grays Anatomy) The lung is an organ belonging to the respiratory system and interfacing to the circulatory system of air-breathing vertebrates. ... Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchi (medium-size airways) in the lungs. ... A Canadian firefighter A firefighter or fireman is trained and equipped to extinguish fires. ...


Anthrax vaccine

During Operation Desert Storm, 41% of U.S. combat soldiers and 57-75% of UK combat soldiers were vaccinated against anthrax. [9] (page 73.) Combatants U.S.-led coalition Iraq Commanders George H. W. Bush, Norman Schwarzkopf, Colin Powell Saddam Hussein, Ali Hassan Al-Majid, Hussein Kamel Strength 660,000 ~545,000 Casualties 345 dead, 1,000 wounded 25,000 - 100,000 dead, 100,000 - 300,000 wounded The 1991 Gulf War (also Persian...


The early 1990s version of the anthrax vaccine was a source of several serious side effects including GWI symptoms. The vaccine was particularly painful when administered, and often caused a severe local skin reaction that lasted for weeks or months. [10] While Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, it never went through large scale clinical trials, in comparison to almost all other vaccines in the United States. [11] For the band, see 1990s (band). ... Anthrax vaccine is a vaccine against the infectious disease Anthrax. ... An adverse drug reaction (abbreviated ADR) is a term to describe the unwanted, negative consequences sometimes associated with the use of medications. ... hi “FDA” redirects here. ...


Data linking squalene in the vaccine to Gulf War Syndrome was "presented in the peer-reviewed February 2000 and August 2002 articles. The published findings (1) strongly suggest that the GWI-like illness being reported by all of the various patient groups is the same illness, (2) strongly suggest that the contaminated vaccine caused the illness in the AVIP group, and (3) further suggest that squalene contamination of one or more 1990-1991-era vaccines accounts for the GWI cases from that era." [12] The sickest veterans tended to have the highest levels of squalene antibodies in their bloodstream. [13] Squalene is a natural organic compound originally obtained for commercial purposes primarily from shark liver oil, though there are botanic sources as well, including amaranth seed, rice bran, wheat germ, and olives. ...


Even after the war, troops that had never been deployed overseas, after receiving the anthrax vaccine, developed symptoms similar to those of Gulf War Syndrome. The Pentagon failed to report to Congress 20,000 cases where soldiers were hospitalized after receiving the vaccine between 1998 and 2000. [14]


252 Members of a U.S. Air Force Squadron who received the vaccine were surveyed, and 139 of these returned their questionnaires. Of these, 58% reported reactions, often consistent with some features of a Gulf War Syndrome type illness, including: joint and muscle pain (41%), decreased energy and tiredness (29%), reduced concentration (28%), short-term memory loss (24%), and sleep problems (17%). [15]


In 2000, a medical examiner ruled that anthrax vaccine was a contributing factor in the death of a civilian who helped manufacture the vaccine given to U.S. troops. [16] That same year, a Canadian judge ruled that the anthrax vaccine was potentially unsafe, halting the trial of a soldier who had been court-martialled for refusing to take it. [17]


Despite repeated assurances that the vaccine was safe and necessary, a U.S. Federal Judge ruled that there was good cause to believe it was harmful, and he ordered the Pentagon to stop administering it in October 2004. [18] That ban has not been lifted. Anthrax vaccine is the only substance suspected in Gulf War syndrome to which forced exposure has since been banned to protect troops from it.


In July 2005, a U.S. soldier was awarded a disability pension for medical problems which developed after his anthrax vaccination, after a Federal Appeals Court ruled in his favor. [19]


On December 15, 2005, the Food and Drug Administration, released a Final Order finding that anthrax vaccine is safe and effective. [20] All vaccines cause adverse events in a subset of those to whom they are administered. [21], [22] Women who receive the vaccine get pregnant and deliver children at the same rates as unvaccinated women. [23] Anthrax vaccination has no effect on pregnancy and birth rates or adverse birth outcomes. [24]


Note: the anthrax vaccine used in the early 1990s was different than the vaccine approved for use today. [25]


Chemical weapons

Many of the symptoms, other than low cancer incidence rates, of Gulf War syndrome are similar to the symptoms of organophosphate, mustard gas, and nerve gas poisoning. [citation needed] Gulf War veterans were exposed to a number of sources of these compounds, including nerve gas and pesticides. [26] [27] Image File history File linksMetadata Iraq-gwi-map. ... An organophosphate (sometimes abbreviated OP) is the general name for esters of phosphoric acid and is one of the organophosphorus compounds. ... Airborne exposure limit 0. ... Also known as Nerve agents, it is the term used for a type of chemical warfare substance that interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses. ... Also known as Nerve agents, it is the term used for a type of chemical warfare substance that interferes with the transmission of nerve impulses. ... the plane is spreading pesticide. ...


Over 125,000 U.S. troops and 9,000 UK troops were exposed to nerve gas and mustard gas when an Iraqi depot in Khamisiyah, Iraq was bombed in 1991. [28] Airborne exposure limit 0. ...


One of the most unusual events during the build-up and deployment of British forces into the desert of Saudi Arabia was the constant alarms from the NIAD detection systems deployed by all British forces in theatre. The NIAD is a chemical and biological detection system that is set-up some distance away from a deployed unit, and will set off an alarm automatically if an agent is detected. During the troop build-up, these detectors were set off on a large number of occasions, making the soldiers don their respirators. Many reasons were given for the alarms, ranging from fumes from helicopters, fumes from passing jeeps, cigarette smoke and even deodorant worn by troops manning the NIAD posts. Although the NIAD had been deployed countless times in peacetime exercises in the years before the Gulf War, the large number of alarms was, to say the least, very unusual, and the reasons given were something of a joke among the troops. [29] It has been suggested that gas mask be merged into this article or section. ... For other uses, see Jeep (disambiguation). ...


The Riegle Report said that chemical alarms went off 18,000 times during the Gulf War. The United States did not have any biological agent detection capability during the Gulf War. After the air war started on January 16, 1991, coalition forces were chronically exposed to low (nonlethal) levels of chemical and biological agents released primarily by direct Iraqi attack via missiles, rockets, artillery, or aircraft munitions and by fallout from allied bombings of Iraqi chemical warfare munitions facilities. Chemical detection units from the Czech Republic, France, and Britain confirmed chemical agents. French detection units detected chemical agents. Both Czech and French forces reported detections immediately to U.S. forces. U.S. forces detected, confirmed, and reported chemical agents; and U.S. soldiers were awarded medals for detecting chemical agents. [30] Wikisource has original text related to this article: Riegle Report On February 9th, 1994, Donald W. Riegle, Jr. ... It has been suggested that Guided missile be merged into this article or section. ... This article is about vehicles powered by rocket engines. ... For other uses, see Artillery (disambiguation). ... Materiel (from the French for material) is the equipment and supplies in Military and commercial supply chain management. ... Fallout is the residual radiation hazard from a nuclear explosion, so named because it falls out of the atmosphere into which it is spread during the explosion. ...


Some, including Richard Guthrie, an expert in chemical warfare at Sussex University, have argued that a likely cause for the increase in birth defects was the Iraqi Army’s use of teratogenic mustard agents. Plaintiffs in a long-running class action lawsuit continue to assert that sulphur mustards might be responsible [31]. Chemical warfare is warfare (and associated military operations) using the toxic properties of chemical substances to kill, injure or incapacitate an enemy. ... University of Sussex Logo © University of Sussex The University of Sussex is an English campus university located near the East Sussex village of Falmer, near Brighton and Hove and on the edge of the South Downs. ... Teratogenesis is a medical term from the Greek, literally meaning monster making. ... Airborne exposure limit 0. ...


In 1997, the US Government released an unclassified report that stated, "The US Intelligence Community (IC) has assessed that Iraq did not use chemical weapons during the Gulf war. However, based on a comprehensive review of intelligence information and relevant information made available by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM), we conclude that chemical warfare (CW) agent was released as a result of US postwar demolition of rockets with chemical warheads in a bunker (called Bunker 73 by Iraq) and a pit in an area known as Khamisiyah." See Khamisiyah: A Historical Perspective on Related Intelligence by the Persian Gulf War Illnesses Task Force (9 April 1997) [32] Khanisiya was the location of a Iraqi chemical weapons storage facility bombed during the first Gulf War. Khamisiyah (Arabic: ) is the small city in southern Iraq located approximately 350km south east of Baghdad, 200km north-west of Kuwait City and 270km north of Al Qaysumah at lat 30. ...


Depleted uranium

Approximate area and major clashes in which DU rounds were used.
Approximate area and major clashes in which DU rounds were used.

Depleted uranium (DU) was used in tank kinetic energy penetrator and autocannon rounds on a large scale for the first time in the Gulf War. DU munitions often burn when they impact a hard target, producing toxic combustion products. [33] The toxicity, effects, distribution, and exposure involved have all been the subject of a lengthy and complex debate. Image File history File links GWI_DU_map. ... Image File history File links GWI_DU_map. ... Depleted uranium storage yard. ... Soviet ammunition BM 15 of 125mm French anti-tank round with its sabot APFSDS at point of separation of sabot. ... M242 Bushmaster autocannon on an M2 Bradley. ... A shell is a payload-carrying projectile, which, as opposed to a bullet, contains an explosive or other filling, though modern usage includes large solid projectiles previously termed shot (AP, APCR, APCNR, APDS, APFSDS and Proof shot). ... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ... A combustion reaction taking place in a igniting match Combustion or burning is a complex sequence of exothermic chemical reactions between a fuel and an oxidant accompanied by the production of heat or both heat and light in the form of either a glow or flames. ...


Because uranium is a heavy metal and chemical toxicant with nephrotoxic (kidney-damaging) [34], teratogenic(birth defect-causing) [1] [2], and potentially carcinogenic [35] properties, uranium exposure is associated with a variety of illnesses [36]. The chemical toxicological hazard posed by uranium dwarfs its radiological hazard because it is only weakly radioactive, and depleted uranium even less so. General Name, symbol, number uranium, U, 92 Chemical series actinides Group, period, block n/a, 7, f Appearance silvery gray metallic; corrodes to a spalling black oxide coat in air Standard atomic weight 238. ... // Teratogenesis is a medical term from the Greek, literally meaning monster-birth, which derives from teratology, the study of the frequency, causation, and development of congenital malformations—misleadingly called birth defects. ... The hazard symbol for carcinogenic chemicals in the Globally Harmonized System. ...


Early studies of depleted uranium aerosol exposure assumed that uranium combustion product particles would quickly settle out of the air [37] and thus could not affect populations more than a few kilometers from target areas [3], and that such particles, if inhaled, would remain undissolved in the lung for a great length of time and thus could be detected in urine [4]. Uranyl ion contamination has been found on and around depleted uranium targets [5]. Aerosol, is a term derived from the fact that matter floating in air is a suspension (a mixture in which solid or liquid or combined solid-liquid particles are suspended in a fluid). ... The uranyl ion, showing the U-O bond order of 3 Diagram of a uranyl ion. ...


DU has recently been recognized as a neurotoxin [6]. In 2005, depleted uranium was shown to be a neurotoxin in rats [7]. A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells – neurons – usually by interacting with membrane proteins such as ion channels. ...


In 2001, a study was published in Military Medicine that found DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans [8]. Another study, published by Health Physics in 2004, also showed DU in the urine of Gulf War veterans [9]. A study of UK veterans who thought they might have been exposed to DU showed aberrations in their white blood cell chromosomes. [10] Mice immune cells exposed to uranium exhibit abnormalities [11]. This article does not cite any references or sources. ... “White Blood Cells” redirects here. ... Figure 1: A representation of a condensed eukaryotic chromosome, as seen during cell division. ...


Increases in the rate of birth defects for children born to Gulf War veterans have been reported. A 2001 survey of 15,000 U.S. Gulf War combat veterans and 15,000 control veterans found that the Gulf War veterans were 1.8 (fathers) to 2.8 (mothers) times as likely to report having children with birth defects [12]. In early 2004, the UK Pensions Appeal Tribunal Service attributed birth defect claims from a February 1991 Gulf War combat veteran to depleted uranium poisoning [38] [39]. A congenital disorder is a medical condition or defect that is present at or before birth (for example, congenital heart disease). ... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ...


In 2005, uranium metalworkers at a Bethlehem plant near Buffalo, New York, exposed to frequent occupational uranium inhalation risks, were alleged by non-scientific sources to have the same patterns of symptoms and illness as Gulf War Syndrome victims [40] [41]. Smith can refer to a person who practices smithing, to a very common family name or to part of a place name or location. ... Nickname: Location of Buffalo in New York State County Government  - Mayor Byron Brown (D) Area  - City 52. ...


In the Balkans war zone where depleted uranium was also used, an absence of problems is seen by some as evidence of DU muntions' safety. "Independent investigations by the World Health Organization, European Commission, European Parliament, United Nations Environment Programme, United Kingdom Royal Society, and the Health Council of the Netherlands all discounted any association between depleted uranium and leukemia or other medical problems." [42] Since then, there has been a resurgence of interest in the health effects of depleted uranium, especially since it has recently been linked with neurotoxicity [13]. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...


Infectious diseases

Along with possible confounding problems caused by exposure to more than one of the substances listed above, comorbidities with infectious diseases have also not been ruled out. [43] Suspected diseases include leishmaniasis, from sandfly bites, and fungal mycoplasma parasites. This article is about the medical term. ... Sandfly biting a humans little finger Sandfly is a colloquial name for any species or genus of flying, biting, blood-sucking Dipteran encountered in sandy areas. ... Species M. genitalium M. hominis M. pneumoniae etc. ...


There are some who believe that Gulf War Syndrome is the result of a contagious bacteria. There are anecdotal reports of improvement in some victims when treated with antibiotics. [44] [45] Phyla Actinobacteria Aquificae Chlamydiae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Lentisphaerae Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Verrucomicrobia Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are unicellular microorganisms. ...


Further effects of Gulf War Syndrome include a decrease in the quality of vision and hair loss.


Stress

Few would disagree that war is a stressful experience or that all wars carry psychological consequences. Indeed from as far back as the American Civil War there have been reports of the impact of stress on soldier’s emotional wellbeing in the form of Soldier’s Heart. Many psychiatric conditions, including depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) can present with physical as well as psychological symptoms [46] [47]. So could Gulf War Syndrome be a physical manifestation of a psychiatric illness? Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), is a term for the psychological consequences of exposure to or confrontation with stressful experiences, which involve actual or threatened death, serious physical injury or a threat to physical integrity and which the person found highly traumatic. ...


We know that veterans who were diagnosed with PTSD following World War II, the wars in Vietnam and Lebanon, and the more recent Iraq war all reported poorer self-rated health, and more physical symptoms, independent of their physical injuries [48] [49] [50] [51] [52]. What’s more, post-traumatic stress symptomology has been associated with increased symptom reporting among Persian Gulf war veterans too [53]. Such symptoms in the Gulf war veterans included memory loss, fatigued, confusion, gastrointestinal distress, muscle or joint pain and skin or mucous membrane lesions – all of them possible GWS symptoms as well.


Robert Haley, who first wrote about Gulf War Syndrome and is a critique of the “Stress Theory” of GWS has argued that the way in which we measure PTSD has resulted in a large number of false positives [54], and goes on to state that the true rate of PTSD in Gulf veterans in negligible [55].


What does the data show? The rates of PTSD in US and UK do vary considerably (from 2%-25%) but in both self-report and questionnaire based studies it was observed that Gulf war veterans were significantly more likely to report symptoms of PTSD [56] [57] [58]. Overall, what is clear is that the true rates of PTSD, measured by interview and not questionnaire, are indeed elevated. A British study compared disabled and non disabled Gulf veterans, and found that the rates more than doubled in the disabled veterans [59]. And that kind of finding has been repeated several times.


But does that mean that GWS really is a manifestation of PTSD? No. In the same study the rate of PTSD was indeed increased in the sick gulf veterans, but the increase was from 1% to 3%. So 97% of this group do not have PTSD. And whilst twice as many veterans in the disabled group had a formal psychiatric disorder, the remaining 75% did not [60]. Similarly, an American study also reported a link between serving in the Gulf, PTSD, depression and health problems. But again concede that this is unlikely to be the sole cause of Gulf war symptoms.


So PTSD is not the sole explanation of GWS. However, does this mean that stress plays no role in the aetiology of GWS? Perhaps not. The stress and stressors of the early phases of the Gulf war were very real to those preparing to enter Theatre [61]. Not only were the usual pre-combat stressors such as family adjustment and the uncertainty of tour length present, but the very real threat of chemical and biological weapons induced extreme fear in those deployed [62]. Back in 1991 the threat of chemical and biological weapons was real, genuine and serious – this bears no relation to the more recent WMD saga. It is possible that this prolonged stated of anxiety may have led to increased sensitivity to physical symptoms. After all, soldiers were intentionally made aware of the signs and symptoms of chemical and biological weapons and how to respond to them. Perhaps they became chronically sensitised. We do know that pre-combat stressors and stress symptoms were effective predictors of physical health post-deployment [63].


So there is little doubt that service in the Gulf war, perhaps like service in any war, is indeed associated with an increased risk of longer term psychological problems, and that these do overlap with the symptoms of GWS, but that they are insufficient to explain it. And finally, we should not under estimate the impact of spending up to six months in the build up to the war (“Desert Shield”) living under the very real threat of chemical and biological weapons.


Controversy

There has been considerable controversy over whether or not Gulf War syndrome is a physical medical condition related to sufferers' Gulf War service (or relation to a Gulf War veteran). The following graphs illustrate the state of the controversy in 1998. Since then, as shown by the statistics above, the extent of the problem has become more pronounced.

Figure 1. Probability of hospitalization for unexplained illness, deployed and nondeployed veterans, from Knoke JD and Gray GC (1998) "Hospitalizations for Unexplained Illnesses among U.S. Veterans of the Persian Gulf War" "This increased hospitalization risk of 11% for the deployed was a consequence of the recruiting for free clinical evaluations beginning in June 1994, with most of the resulting CCEP hospitalizations being for medical evaluation and not for clinical management. When CCEP participants were censored on 1 June 1994, deployed Gulf War veterans were not at greater risk than those not deployed." (San Diego, California: Naval Health Research Center).
Figure 1. Probability of hospitalization for unexplained illness, deployed and nondeployed veterans, from Knoke JD and Gray GC (1998) "Hospitalizations for Unexplained Illnesses among U.S. Veterans of the Persian Gulf War" "This increased hospitalization risk of 11% for the deployed was a consequence of the recruiting for free clinical evaluations beginning in June 1994, with most of the resulting CCEP hospitalizations being for medical evaluation and not for clinical management. When CCEP participants were censored on 1 June 1994, deployed Gulf War veterans were not at greater risk than those not deployed." (San Diego, California: Naval Health Research Center).
Figure 2. Probability of hospitalization for unexplained illness, deployed and nondeployed veterans. Adjusted for recruitment effort on 1 June, 1994, from Knoke JD and Gray GC (1998) "Hospitalizations for Unexplained Illnesses among U.S. Veterans of the Persian Gulf War" The slightly lower hospitalization risk for the deployed than for the nondeployed is consistent with a healthy service member effect; that is, those selected for deployment are, on average, slightly healthier than those not selected." (San Diego, California: Naval Health Research Center).
Figure 2. Probability of hospitalization for unexplained illness, deployed and nondeployed veterans. Adjusted for recruitment effort on 1 June, 1994, from Knoke JD and Gray GC (1998) "Hospitalizations for Unexplained Illnesses among U.S. Veterans of the Persian Gulf War" The slightly lower hospitalization risk for the deployed than for the nondeployed is consistent with a healthy service member effect; that is, those selected for deployment are, on average, slightly healthier than those not selected." (San Diego, California: Naval Health Research Center).

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (980x774, 96 KB) [edit] Summary This is taken from the Center for Disease Controls paper, Hospitalizations for Unexplained Illnesses among U.S. Veterans of the Persian Gulf War, by James D. Knoke and Gregory C. Gray, Naval Health Research Center... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (980x774, 96 KB) [edit] Summary This is taken from the Center for Disease Controls paper, Hospitalizations for Unexplained Illnesses among U.S. Veterans of the Persian Gulf War, by James D. Knoke and Gregory C. Gray, Naval Health Research Center... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 739 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1048 × 850 pixel, file size: 99 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) (All user names refer to en. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 739 × 599 pixelsFull resolution (1048 × 850 pixel, file size: 99 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) (All user names refer to en. ...

Evidence for

United States Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi's panel found that pre-2005 studies suggested the veterans' illnesses are neurological and apparently are linked to exposure to neurotoxins, such as the nerve gas sarin, the anti-nerve gas drug pyridostigmine bromide, and pesticides that affect the nervous system. Anthony Joseph Principi (born April 16, 1944) was the 4th United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. ... A neurotoxin is a toxin that acts specifically on nerve cells, or neurons, usually by interacting with membrane proteins and ion channels. ... For other uses, see Sarin (disambiguation). ... Pyridostigmine is a parasympathomimetic and a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor. ... A cropduster spreading pesticide. ...


"Research studies conducted since the war have consistently indicated that psychiatric illness, combat experience or other deployment-related stressors do not explain Gulf War veterans illnesses in the large majority of ill veterans," the review committee said.


In November, 2004, the anonymously-funded British inquiry headed by Lord Lloyd ([64]) concluded, for the first time, that thousands of UK and US Gulf War veterans were made ill by their service. The report claimed that Gulf veterans were twice as likely to suffer from ill health than if they had been deployed elsewhere, and that the illnesses suffered were the result of a combination of causes. These included multiple injections of vaccines, the use of organophosphate pesticides to spray tents, low level exposure to nerve gas, and the inhalation of depleted uranium dust. [65][66] The report was the first to suggest a direct link between military service in the Persian Gulf and illnesses suffered by veterans of that war and directly contradicts other theories which have suggested GWI is not a physical illness, but a response to the stresses of war. Depleted uranium storage yard. ...


Although not identifying Gulf War syndrome by name, in June of 2003 the High Court of England and Wales upheld a claim by Shaun Rusling that the depression, eczema, fatigue, nausea and breathing problems that he experienced after returning from the Gulf War were attributed to his military service. Her Majestys High Court of Justice (known more simply as the High Court) is, together with the Crown Court and the Court of Appeal, part of the Supreme Court of Judicature in England and Wales: see Courts of England and Wales. ... Clinical depression (also called major depressive disorder, or unipolar depression when compared to bipolar disorder) is a state of intense sadness, melancholia or despair that has advanced to the point of being disruptive to an individuals social functioning and/or activities of daily living. ... For the beetle, see Exema. ... The word fatigue is used in everyday living to describe a range of afflictions, varying from a general state of lethargy to a specific work induced burning sensation within muscle. ... For other uses, see Nausea (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ...


A 2004 British study comparing 24,000 Gulf War veterans to a control group of 18,000 men found that those who had taken part in the Gulf war have lower fertility and are 40 to 50% more likely to be unable to start a pregnancy. Among Gulf war soldiers, failure to conceive was 2.5% vs. 1.7% in the control group, and the rate of miscarriage was 3.4% vs. 2.3%. These differences are small but statistically significant. [67] In statistics, a result is significant if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance, given that a presumed null hypothesis is true. ...


In January 2006, a study led by Melvin Blanchard and published by the Journal of Epidemiology, part of the "National Health Survey of Gulf War-Era Veterans and Their Families", stated that veterans deployed in the Persian Gulf War had nearly twice the prevalence of chronic multisymptom illness (CMI), a cluster of symptoms similar to a set of conditions often called Gulf War Syndrome. [68]


Evidence against

Similar syndromes have been seen as an after effect of other conflicts — for example, 'shell shock' after World War I, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the Vietnam War. A review of the medical records of 15,000 U.S. Civil War soldiers showed that "those who lost at least 5% of their company had a 51% increased risk of later development of cardiac, gastrointestinal, or nervous disease." [69] The military term combat stress reaction (CSR) comprises the range of adverse behaviours in reaction to the stress of combat and combat related activities. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a term for certain severe psychological consequences of exposure to, or confrontation with, stressful events that the person experiences as highly traumatic. ... Combatants Republic of Vietnam United States Republic of Korea Thailand Australia New Zealand The Philippines National Front for the Liberation of South Vietnam Democratic Republic of Vietnam People’s Republic of China Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea Strength US 1,000,000 South Korea 300,000 Australia 48,000... The American Civil War was fought in the United States from 1861 until 1865 between the northern states, popularly referred to as the U.S., the Union, the North, or the Yankees; and the seceding southern states, commonly referred to as the Confederate States of America, the CSA, the Confederacy...


A November 1996 article in the New England Journal of Medicine found no difference in death rates, hospitalization rates or self-reported symptoms between Persian Gulf vets and non-Persian Gulf vets. This article was a compilation of dozens of individual studies involving tens of thousands of veterans. The studies did find a statistically significant elevation in the number of traffic accidents suffered by Persian Gulf vets vs. non-Persian Gulf vets.


An April, 1998 article in Emerging Infectious Diseases found no increased rate of hospitalization and better health overall for veterans of the Persian Gulf War vs. Veterans who stayed home. James D. Knoke and Gregory C. Gray, Naval Health Research Center, San Diego, California, USA, Emerging Infectious Diseases 1998 Oct-Dec;4(4):707-9, Hospitalizations for unexplained illnesses among U.S. veterans of the Persian Gulf War [[70]]


Additionally, some reported symptoms cannot be verified or connected to Gulf War service. Pfc. Brian Martin, a Gulf War veteran who has appeared on multiple talk shows and given interviews to many newspapers and magazines about Gulf War syndrome, reported developing lupus erythematosus, which news articles claim had been verified by federal medical exams, despite the Department of Veterans Affairs's denial of having had any patients with it.


The US Institute of Medicine, released their conclusions in a September 2006 report further casting doubts on the validity of Gulf War Syndrome, writing that although roughly 30% of service men and women who served either have suffered or still suffer from symptoms [71], no single cluster of symptoms that constitute a syndrome unique to Gulf War veterans has been identified.[72]


New research from the United Kingdom, published in the medical journal the Lancet (2006: 367: 1742-46) comparing the health of thousands of service personnel who served in Iraq with the health of thousands who did not, has shown no evidence of any rise in multi symptom conditions associated with Gulf War Syndrome. This casts doubt on the role of certain exposures, such as the anthrax vaccine itself, depleted uranium, pesticides and post traumatic stress, in the aetiology of Gulf War Illnesses, since such exposures were common to both campaigns for the UK forces; http://www.kcl.ac.uk/kcmhr/information/articles/horn_lancet.pdf.


Nicoles Comments


The Gulf War Syndrome has became a disease from all around the world. More than 10,000 veterans have gotten it from The Gulf War. This disease effects your memory,your immune system,and lots of other pains. For know thats all I have to say and I will type more.


Iraq War

Many U.S. veterans of the 2003 Iraq War have reported a range of serious health issues, including tumors, daily blood in urine and stool, sexual dysfunction, migraines, frequent muscle spasms, and other symptoms similar to the debilitating symptoms of "Gulf War Syndrome" reported by many veterans of the 1991 Gulf War, which some believe is related to the continued United States' use of radioactive depleted uranium [73]. For other uses, see Iraq war (disambiguation). ...


In Popular Culture

This article is about the original Metal Gear Solid released for the PlayStation. ... An iconic image of genetic engineering; this autoluminograph from 1986 of a glowing transgenic tobacco plant bearing the luciferase gene, illustrating the possibilities of genetic engineering. ... Brothers Little Helper is the second episode of the eleventh season of The Simpsons. ... House, M.D. (commonly promoted as just House) is an American television series aired by the Fox Broadcasting Company. ...

References

  1. ^ Hindin R, Brugge D, Panikkar B. "Teratogenicity of depleted uranium aerosols: a review from an epidemiological perspective". Environ Health 4: 17. PMID 16124873. 
  2. ^ Arfsten D, Still K, Ritchie G (2001). "A review of the effects of uranium and depleted uranium exposure on reproduction and fetal development". Toxicol Ind Health 17 (5-10): 180-91. PMID 12539863. 
  3. ^ Mitsakou C, Eleftheriadis K, Housiadas C, Lazaridis M (2003). "Modeling of the dispersion of depleted uranium aerosol". Health Phys 84 (4): 538-44. PMID 12705453. 
  4. ^ Horan P, Dietz L, Durakovic A (2002). "The quantitative analysis of depleted uranium isotopes in British, Canadian, and U.S. Gulf War veterans". Mil Med 167 (8): 620-7. PMID 12188230. 
  5. ^ Salbu B, Janssens K, Lind O, Proost K, Gijsels L, Danesi P (2005). "Oxidation states of uranium in depleted uranium particles from Kuwait". J Environ Radioact 78 (2): 125-35. PMID 15511555. 
  6. ^ Jiang G, Aschner M (2006). "Neurotoxicity of depleted uranium: reasons for increased concern". Biol Trace Elem Res 110 (1): 1-17. PMID 16679544. 
  7. ^ Anandan N, Shetty S, Patil K, Ibrahim A (1992). "Acute urinary retention caused by anterior urethral polyp". Br J Urol 69 (3): 321-2. PMID 1568112. 
  8. ^ Hodge S, Ejnik J, Squibb K, McDiarmid M, Morris E, Landauer M, McClain D (2001). "Detection of depleted uranium in biological samples from Gulf War veterans". Mil Med 166 (12 Suppl): 69-70. PMID 11778443. 
  9. ^ Gwiazda R, Squibb K, McDiarmid M, Smith D (2004). "Detection of depleted uranium in urine of veterans from the 1991 Gulf War". Health Phys 86 (1): 12-8. PMID 14695004. 
  10. ^ http://www.cerrie.org/committee_papers/INFO_9-H.pdf
  11. ^ Wan B, Fleming J, Schultz T, Sayler G (2006). "In vitro immune toxicity of depleted uranium: effects on murine macrophages, CD4+ T cells, and gene expression profiles". Environ Health Perspect 114 (1): 85-91. PMID 16393663. 
  12. ^ Kang H, Magee C, Mahan C, Lee K, Murphy F, Jackson L, Matanoski G (2001). "Pregnancy outcomes among U.S. Gulf War veterans: a population-based survey of 30,000 veterans". Ann Epidemiol 11 (7): 504-11. PMID 11557183. 
  13. ^ Jiang G, Aschner M (2006). "Neurotoxicity of depleted uranium: reasons for increased concern". Biol Trace Elem Res 110 (1): 1-17. PMID 16679544. 

External links

  • U.S. Soldiers Are Sick of It Wired News
  • American Gulf War Veterans Association
  • My Life Living With Depleted Uranium
  • National Gulf War Resource Center
  • Radioactive Wounds of War
  • Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses
  • Uranium Medical Research Centre, founded in 1997 by Dr. Asaf Durakovic, M.D., formerly Chief of Professional Clinical Services in the U.S. Army's 531st Medical Detachment during the Desert Shield phase of the 1991 Gulf War and head of the Veteran's Administration Nuclear Medicine facility in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Dr. Hari Sharma (2003): "Investigations of Environmental Impacts from the Deployment of Depleted Uranium Munitions", Depleted Uranium Watch, September 2003
  • Veterans for Common Sense
  • Post Conflict Assessment Iraq by the United Nations Environment Programme (PDF.)
  • Documentary: Beyond Treason
  • First Gulf War still claims lives from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • New York Daily News Special Investigation: Poisoned?, Inside camp of troubles, Soldiers demand to know health risks (April 3, 2005), and Army to test N.Y. Guard unit (April 5, 2005)
  • Have DU Will Travel series of sixteen articles in the Crawford, Texas Lone Star Iconoclast
  • In Vitro Immune Toxicity of Depleted Uranium: Effects on Murine Macrophages, CD4+ T Cells, and Gene Expression Profiles, by B. Wan, J.T. Fleming, T.W. Schultz, and G.S. Sayler (2006) Environ Health Perspect. 114, 85-91.
  • "After the Dust Settles" (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists report from 1999)
  • Gulf Lore Syndrome (1999)
  • Khamisiyah: A Historical Perspective on Related Intelligence by the Persian Gulf War Illnesses Task Force, 9 April 1997 (Khanisiya was the location of a Iraqi chemical weapons storage facility bombed during the first Gulf War and which released toxic nerve agents into the atmosphere blowing south to allied units)

Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Exec. ... The Lone Star Iconoclast was founded in 2000 in Crawford, Texas, as a community newspaper that also emphasized politics in its coverage. ... Cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists with the famous Doomsday Clock set at seven minutes to midnight. ... This article is about the year. ...

See also

  • Nerve agents
  • Khamisiyah the city in Iraq where a chemical weapons storage facility was located and which was bombed duing the First Gulf War.
  • Beyond Treason a 89-minute 2005 documentary that covers the Gulf War syndrome.

  Results from FactBites:
 
frontline: the gulf war: appendix: gulf war syndrome (611 words)
frontline: the gulf war: appendix: gulf war syndrome
The postwar ailments of Gulf War veterans have become known as 'Gulf War Syndrome' and millions of dollars of research and many health studies are focusing on whether it is a definable illness.
About 70,000 Gulf War veterans say their depression, anxiety, musculoskeletal disorders, fatigue, respiratory problems, memory loss and other symptoms are associated with Gulf War exposure to chemicals from burning oil wells, insecticides and, to poison or poisons linked to innoculations against biological warfare or to Saddam Hussein's chemical weapons.
Gulf War syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2739 words)
Gulf War veterans were exposed to a number of sources of these compounds, including nerve gas and pesticides.
Although not identifying Gulf War syndrome by name, in June of 2003 the High Court of England and Wales upheld a claim by Shaun Rusling that the depression, eczema, fatigue, nausea and breathing problems that he experienced after returning from the Gulf War were attributed to his military service.
Among Gulf war soldiers, failure to conceive was 2.5% vs. 1.7% in the control group, and the rate of miscarriage was 3.4% vs. 2.3%.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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