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Daily News Blog

Archive for the 'Gulf War Syndrome' Category


20
Sep

Army-Funded Study Links Gulf War Illness to Pesticides and More

(Beyond Pesticides, September 20, 2011) A study supported by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command links pesticide exposure and other factors to Gulf War illness (also referred to as Gulf War Syndrome), an illness characterized by a wide range of acute and chronic symptoms experienced by veterans and civilians after the 1991 Gulf War. The study, “Complex Factors in the Etiology of Gulf War Illness: Wartime Exposures and Risk Factors in Veteran Subgroups,” is published in the September 19, 2011 online edition of Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers designed the study to compare the characteristics of deployment and the risk factors experienced by veterans participating in various theaters of the Gulf War. Among personnel who were in Iraq or Kuwait, where all battles took place, four exposures were independently associated with GWI: taking PB pills, being within one mile of an exploding SCUD missile, using pesticides on the skin, and exposure to smoke from oil well fires. For veterans who remained in support areas, GWI was significantly associated only with personal pesticide use, with increased prevalence (OR=12.7, CI=2.6-61.5) in the relatively small subgroup who wore pesticide-treated uniforms, nearly all of whom also used skin pesticides. Among 64 pesticide […]

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12
Aug

Study Finds that Mosquito Repellent DEET Affects Nervous System

(Beyond Pesticides, August 12, 2009) A new study examining the effects of the mosquito repellent DEET on insects, mice and human proteins reports that the chemical interferes with a prominent central nervous system enzyme. This effect is magnified when exposure to DEET is combined with exposure to certain other pesticides. Entitled, “Evidence for inhibition of cholinesterases in insect and mammalian nervous systems by the insect repellent deet,” and published in BioMed Central (BMC) Biology, the study utilized toxicological, biochemical and electrophysiological techniques to show that DEET is not simply a behavior-modifying chemical, but that it also inhibits cholinesterase activity in both insect and mammalian neuronal preparations. The researchers examined DEET’s effects on mosquitoes, cockroach nerves, mouse muscles, and enzymes purified from fruit flies and humans. Applications of DEET slowed or halted the actions of the enzyme acetylcholinesterase. This enzyme is crucial for regulating nerve impulses in both insects and mammals, and once its functions are disrupted, neuromuscular paralysis, leading to death by asphyxiation result. In humans, symptoms include headache, exhaustion and mental confusion together with blurred vision, salivation, chest tightness, and muscle twitching and abdominal cramps. The study also investigated the consequences of DEET interactions with carbamate insecticides on the […]

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18
Nov

Gulf War Research Panel Finds 1 in 4 Veterans Suffers from Illness Caused by Toxic Exposure

(Beyond Pesticides, November 18, 2008) At least one in four of the 697,000 U.S. veterans of the 1991 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War illness, a condition caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, including pesticides and a drug administered to protect troops against nerve gas, and no effective treatments have yet been found, a federal panel of scientific experts and veterans concludes in a landmark report released November 17, 2008. The Congressionally-mandated Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses presented the report to Secretary of Veterans Affairs James Peake at Veterans Administration (VA) headquarters in Washington, DC. Scientific staff support to the Committee is provided by the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH). “The extensive body of scientific research now available consistently indicates that Gulf War illness is real, that it is the result of neurotoxic exposures during Gulf War deployment, and that few veterans have recovered or substantially improved with time,” the report says. The 450-page report brings together for the first time the full range of scientific research and government investigations on Gulf War illness and officially resolves many questions about the condition. The report found that Gulf War illness fundamentally differs from stress-related syndromes described […]

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13
Mar

Chemical Exposure Linked to Gulf War Veterans’ Illness

(Beyond Pesticides, March 13, 2008) Exposure to certain chemicals, including pesticides and nerve agents, explains the high rates of illness in Persian Gulf War Veterans, according to a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Veterans from the 1990-91 conflict have a higher rate of chronic, multi-symptom health problems than either non-deployed personnel or those deployed elsewhere. Symptoms routinely reported by these veterans include fatigue, muscle or joint pain, memory problems, trouble sleeping, rash and breathing problems. Due to the findings, the study author, Beatrice Golomb, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, warns of the potential risk to civilians exposed to pesticides.“Health issues among Gulf War veterans have been a concern for nearly two decades. Now, enough studies have been conducted, and results shared, to be able to say with considerable confidence that there is a link between chemical exposure and chronic, multi-symptom health problems,” said Dr. Golomb. “Furthermore, the same chemicals affecting Gulf War veterans may be involved in similar cases of unexplained, multi-symptom health problems in the general population.”The study synthesized evidence regarding a class of chemicals known as acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AchEs), including […]

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