Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Unexplained symptoms

Posted By on Tue, Apr 13, 2010 at 10:11 AM

We're still paying for the Bushes' wars for oil. When will the suffering stop? (Answer: Maybe never.)

It's a true shame that a country led by a Nobel Peace Prize winner cannot point to any generation and say, "They have never known war."

As many as 250,000 veterans of the first Gulf War "have persistent unexplained medical symptoms" whose cause may never be found, although genetic testing and functional brain imaging may eventually shed some light on the problem.

That is one of the conclusions of a new review of research on the constellation of physical complaints originally known as "Gulf War syndrome" experienced by many soldiers soon after the United States drove invading Iraqi forces out of Kuwait in early 1991.

The review, by the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine, found that the only illness clearly caused by the Gulf War is post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is present in 2 to 15 percent of Gulf War veterans (depending on how it is diagnosed), and about three-times more common in them than in soldiers who served at the same time but were deployed elsewhere.

The 12-member panel of medical experts also found "evidence of an association" between Gulf War service and anxiety disorder, alcohol abuse, dyspepsia, irritable bowl syndrome, and "multisymptom illness" (its term for Gulf War syndrome) although not clearly a causal one.

Read the rest of this Washington Post article, by David Brown, here.

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