Monday, June 29, 2009

Immune System in Ill Gulf War Veterans "Remodeled", Research Shows

Written by Anthony Hardie, 91outcomes

(Boston, Mass. - June 29, 2009) Research findings show immune system "remodeling" in blood and saliva samples of ill Gulf War veterans, including clear abnormalities in their immune system function and response and neuroendocrine balance, said Dr. Gordon Broderick of the University of Alberta in a presentation today in Boston before the federal Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses.

Using highly detailed data and analyses, the study found that GWI subjects can be distinguished from healthy veterans (and from CFS) by their neuroendocrine-immune status, and that differences can be amplified by studying response to exercise by looking for diagnostic features and illness processes.

At the intracellular level, Interleukin-5 (IL-5), Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha (TNFa), and IFN were substantially elevated, as was Interleukin-6 (IL-6) plasma
in vivo. The level of cytokines as a broad sectrum response -- which are a marker of inflammation in the body -- is greatly increased in Gulf War veterans with GWI with relation to key immune system markers following exercise .

GWI subjects are distinct in their immune response to excercise, and most significant at rest. The findings note that cytokines in combination and across time are are entirely distinct between the GWI and control groups, leading to an ability to precisely identify those suffering from GWI using their immune system markers found in the blood.

At the cellular level of Gulf War veterans with GWI, the research found that their immune system does respond to an exercise challenge, but its response is significantly more diffuse and
disorganized than the immune response among healthy study controls.

The research suggests that the team may have developed a working model for diagnosing Gulf War illness through neuroendocrine-immune system markers in ill Gulf War veterans' blood and saliva. Dr. Broderick believes that his research will help lead to treatments for Gulf War veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness.

Dr. Broderick's current research on Gulf War Illness is funded by the U.S. Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program.
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