Monday, June 28, 2010

Federal Gulf War Illness Research Advisory Cmte. to Meet Monday, Tuesday in DC

( - The Congressionally chartered Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses (RACGWVI) is set to meet for two days, beginning Monday, June 28, at the federal VA’s central office in Washington, DC.  

Among the expected highlights are the unveiling of the final first report of the VA’s internal Gulf War Task Force, a presentation about the new Gulf War Steering Committee (GWSC) on internal VA research related to Gulf War veterans’ health issues, and scientific research presentations providing additional evidence linking 1991 Gulf War toxic exposures to long-term, negative health outcomes.

Another highlight will be an update on the Department of Defense’s Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP) - part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) - by CDMRP director, U.S. Navy Captain Melissa Kaime.

Dr. Michael Weiner of the San Francisco VA Medical Center will be giving a presentation entitled, “Effects of military service on the brain.”  Earlier this year, VA officials revealed that approximately $11 million in funds from the cancelled contract with Dr. Robert Haley of the University of Texas-Southwestern had been awarded to Dr. Weiner for the purchase of a state of the art brain imaging machine.

Also slated to be discussed is the Institute of Medicine Report on Gulf War and Health, released on April 9, 2010, which found associations between deployment to the 1990 - 1991 Gulf War and specific health problems including chronic multisymptom illness (CMI).  CMI is popularly known as Gulf War Illness or Gulf War Syndrome. 

The RACGWVI meetings are open to the public and will be held in the Sonny Montgomery Conference Room on the second floor of the VA headquarters at 810 Vermont Avenue, N.W.  

The next meeting of the RACGWVI is scheduled for early November in Boston, Mass. 

This week’s agenda is as follows:

Monday, June 28, 2010

8:00 – 8:30 Informal gathering, coffee

8:30 – 8:35 Welcome, introductory remarks by Mr. Jim Binns, Chairman, Res Adv Cmte Gulf War Illnesses

8:35 – 9:30 Case report: long-term cognitive sequelae of sarin exposure, by COL Jonathan Newmark, Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical/Biological Defense, Department of Defense

9:30 – 10:15 Effects of military service on the brain, by Dr. Michael Weiner, San Francisco VA Medical Center

10:15 – 10:30 Break

0:30 – 11:15 Organophosphate exposure and cognition: Novel mechanisms of neurotoxicity, by Dr. Alvin Terry,  Medical College of Georgia

11:15 – 12:00 Neural Stem cell dysfunction and its implications on memory and mood in a rat model of Gulf-War illness, by Dr. Ashok Shetty, Durham VA Medical Center

12:00 – 12:45 Proteomic analysis of cellular response to Biological warfare agents and cognitive function in animal models, by Dr. Michael Mullan, Tampa VA Medical Center, and Dr. Fiona Crawford, Roskamp Institute

12:45 - 1:45 Lunch

1:45 - 2:30 ALS rates in Gulf War veterans, by Dr. Ronnie Horner, University of Cincinnati

2:30 – 3:15 Magneto-encephalography (MEG) patterns in neurological diseases, by Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos, Minneapolis VA Medical Center

3:15 – 3:30 Break

3:30 - 4:30 Committee Discussion: VA Gulf War Task Force Report, led by Mr. Jim Binns, Chairman, and Dr. Kimberly Sullivan, Res Adv Cmte Gulf War Illnesses

4:30 – 5:00 Public comment 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

8:00 – 8:30 Informal gathering, coffee

8:30 – 9:15 CDMRP Gulf War program update, by CAPT Melissa Kaime (USN), Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program

9:15 –9:45 VA Gulf War Task Force Report, by Mr. John Gingrich
Chief of Staff, Dept. of Veterans Affairs

9:45 – 10:30 VA Gulf War research program, Dr. Joel Kupersmith
development, Chief Research and Development Officer, Dept. of Veterans Affairs

10:30 – 11:15 Federal Advisory Committee Ethics Training, Mr. Jonathan Gurland, VA

11:15 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 12:00 Update of VA Gulf War research: RFAs, by Dr. William Goldberg, VA Office of Research and Development

12:00 – 12:45 Committee discussion: Institute of Medicine (IOM) Gulf War report, led by Mr. Jim Binns, Chairman, and Dr. Lea Steele, Res. Advisory Cmte Gulf War Illnesses

12:45 – 1:15 Public comment

1:15 Adjourn

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