Brain images graphically and unambiguously depicting Gulf War Syndrome have been presented as evidence by researchers at this years annual Society of Toxicology meeting. But nearly two decades after The Gulf War the federal government has yet acknowledge the syndrome as a legitimate illness.
Research teams from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas have identified three different series of abnormalities in the brain which they categorize into three different subtypes. Each subtype is characterized by a different set of symptoms exhibited by gulf war vets who fell ill after serving in the Middle East. Very few vets symptoms seemed to encompass more than one syndrome.
For nearly two decades over 175,000 US troops returned from serving in the first Gulf War with symptoms ranging from mental confusion and fatigue to sudden attacks of vertigo, mood swings, and sometimes numbness or constant body pain.
Funding from the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs have allowed researchers to loosely link three different agents to the syndrome:
- Sarin Nerve Gas
- Pyridostigmine Bromide: a nerve gas antidote
- Military Grade Pesticides: to prevent illness from Sand Flies and similar pests
But the combination of agents and/or environmental conditions which may have triggered Gulf War Illiness still remain unknown.