(American Chronicle - August 26, 2009) - Toomey and colleagues -- researchers at the Boston Veterans Administration Healthcare System -- confirmed that Gulf War deployment is associated with subtle declines of motor speed and sustained attention as influenced by exposure to toxicants during deployment.
Toomey found that exposure to sarin gas released during the Khamisiyah destruction is correlated with long-term reduced motor speed in veterans that has not resolved after 10 years. Self-reported exposure to these toxicants is also significantly associated with attention deficits.
Ten years after the war, deployed veterans are still in poor health and perform significantly worse on cognitive tests than non-deployed veterans. Gulf War veterans complaints include:
- Poor cognition
- Slowed motor function
- Memory Loss
- Chronic Fatigue
- Skin Rash
- Hair Loss
- Muscle pain
- Gastrointestinal Disorders
- Cardiovascular Changes
- Chemical Sensitivity
These health alterations point to potential long-term, permanent impairment from toxicant exposure.
The symptoms of Gulf War veterans are analogous to a group of multi-system illnesses increasingly seen in the general population, notably: multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS), chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), and fibromyalgia (FM). These illnesses all share a common pattern of initiation and, thus, they may share a common etiology (cause) in long-term, permanent impairment from toxic exposure.
Toomey R, Alpern R, Vasterling JJ, Baker DG, Reda DJ, Lyons MJ, Henderson WG, Kang HK, Eisen SA, Murphy FM. Neuropsychological functioning of U.S. Gulf War veterans 10 years after the war. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2009 Jul 29:1-13. [Epub ahead of print]