Monday, June 29, 2009

Minneapolis VA Study Shows Blood Abnormalities in Ill Gulf War Veterans

Written by Anthony Hardie, 91outcomes

(Boston, Mass. - June 29, 2009) Gulf War veterans have measurable blood abnormalities related to chronic inflammation and abnormal immune responses, according to a ongoing research finding presented by Dr. Ronald Bach, Ph.D, FAHA, of the Minneapolis VA Medical Center, at today's RAC meetings at the Boston University School of Public Health.

Dr. Bach noted that the unusual Tissue Factor findings, found while screening for biomarkers of illness in Gulf War veterans, are related to chronic inflammation and immune response abnormalities in Gulf War veterans. According to Dr. Bach's ongoing research, there are notable abnormalities in tissue factor and chronic coagulopathies, suggesting the possibility of a hyperactive coagulation in the blood of ill Gulf War veterans.

Earlier research included a review of chronic symptoms and medical records of study participants, and sowed significantly increased blood levels showing higher coagulatory measures in ill Gulf War veterans, concluding that there was indirect evidence of coagulation system activation in Gulf War veterans and direct evidence of significant abnormalities.

Dr. Bach stated that his research finding are "unprecedented," with most Gulf War veteran subjects enrolled in the study had abnormally high levels of thrombin-antithrombin complex, high levels of thrombin-antithrombin complex, D-dimer, and factor VII antigen, resulting in a hypercoagular state. Dr. Bach concluded that these unusual findings may represent a heretofore unknown state of blood coagulation among ill Gulf War veterans, and may serve as a diagnostic biomarker for ill gulf War veterans.

His ongoing research goals are to be able to diagnose Gulf War Illnesss with blood tests, and to evaluate potential therapies that would help ill Gulf War veterans.

Dr. Debra Buchwald, Professor of the University of Washington Department of Medicine, Director of the Center for Clinical and Epidemiologicl Research, and a newly appointed member of the panel, noted concerns about the definition and concerns that some veterans with other veinous, thrombotic and related conditions might be misdiagnosed with these biomarkers. Dr. Bach responded that only one tissue factor "jumped out," that the Gulf War veterans he studied were not suffering from these conditions, and and that the Gulf War veterans in the study are a different kind of chronic "compensatory" process whereby the factors being measured are perpetually increased to compensate for something unique in ill Gulf War veterans.

Dr. Bach noted that his funding for new research, funded though a scientist- and Gulf War veteran-reviewed research funding process of the U.S. Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, begins on July 1st, and his further studies are expected to reveal more about these "significant" abnormal findings in the blood markers in ill Gulf War veterans.

Dr. Meryl Nass, an attendee at the advisory committee review, noted her concerns about one of the measured factors, D-dimers. However, Dr. Bach responded that while he shares this concern, that the other measurable abnormalities are "significant".

Dr. Bach and his reasearch team continue to seek additional Gulf War veterans near Minneapolis, Minn. for the ongoing research. Dr. Bach can be contacted at ronald.bach@med.va.gov.


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1 comment:

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