Monday, June 28, 2010

Study: Gulf War Chemicals cause Cognitive Dysfunction, may be treatable

By Anthony Hardie

Graphics: PB NAPP pills, implicated in Gulf War cognitive problems

( - During today’s meeting of the Congressionally chartered U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ illnesses (RACGWVI), Dr. Fiona Crawford of the Roskamp Institute in Sarasota, Fla., presented her research findings that show

The presentation, entitled “Genomic and proteomic analysis of laboratory models of exposure to Gulf War agents,” described research conducted by Dr. Crawford and Dr. Michael Mullan of the Tampa VA Medical Center to assess the effects of pyridostigmine bromide (PB) nerve agent protective pills (NAPP) combined with pesticides used in the 1991 Gulf War.  They found that Gulf War chemicals cause cognitive dysfunction, one of the most commonly reported symptoms among the 250,000 veterans of the 1991 Gulf War suffering from Gulf War Illness.

An October 2009 Roskamp Institute study (Abdullah et al) analyzed the cellular responses to PB of neuronal cells, key to the function of the brain and nervous system.  Twenty-two different proteins were identified by mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and a sophisticated analysis  was then used to determine the biological functions and pathways associated with the PB-responsive proteins.  This work provides great promise for the development of treatments.

Dr. Crawford noted that other work with the Roskamp Institute and Dr. Mullan has led to unique treatment possibilities for veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI).  She hopes that the current work on GWI will lead to new proteomic-based treatments for veterans suffering from the disease.

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