Wednesday, July 14, 2010

DoD Provides Public Briefing on Gulf War Illness Research Program

Annually Funded Program Currently Being Reviewed for Funding by Congress

Gulf War Illness Program BookletWritten by Anthony Hardie

( – The U.S. Department of Defense’s Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP) has released a new public briefing that provides an inspiring view of its treatment-focused Gulf War Illness Research Program.

The briefing -- first given to those in attendance at the VA Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses  (RACGWVI) public meeting on June 29 at the VA’s central office in Washington, DC -- provides a unique overview of the groundbreaking program.

Delivered by CDMRP director, U.S. Navy Captain Melissa Kaime, M.D., the briefing provides an overview of the CDMRP’s Gulf War Illness Research Program, followed by a history of funding for the program and the balanced portfolio of programs funded through the program.

Included in the briefing, the studies focus on novel treatments and research that will ultimately lead to treatments for Gulf War veterans with Gulf War Illness.  They included the following studies in the most recent annual funding round (FY09), totaling approximately $6.3 million:

  • Dr. David Carpenter (ITEA), State University of New York, Albany -- Gulf War Illness: Evaluation of an Innovative Detoxification Program
  • Dr. Ashok Tuteja (ITEA), Western Institute for Biomedical Research -- Probiotic (Bifidobacterium infantis) for Gulf War Illness
  • Dr. Henry Heng (IIRA), Wayne State University -- Genome Instability: A Common Link in Gulf War Illness Patients
  • Dr. Anne Louise Oaklander (IIRA), Massachusetts General Hospital -- Undiagnosed Small Fiber Polyneuropathy: Is It a Component of Gulf War Illness?
  • Dr. Mohan Sopori (IIRA), Lovelace Biomedical & Environmental Research Institute -- Neuroimmune Interactions, Low-Dose Sarin Inhalation, and Gulf War Syndrome
  • Dr. Gordon Broderick (IIRA), University of Alberta -- Theory-Driven Models for Correcting "Fight or Flight" Imbalance in Gulf War Illness
  • Dr. John Repine (IIRA), University of Colorado, Denver -- Exhaled Gas Frequency Comb Spectroscopy Distinguishing Biomarkers in Gulf War Illness Syndrome
  • Dr. Timothy Juergens (IIRA), University of Wisconsin, Madison:  Homeostatic and Circadian Abnormalities in Sleep and Arousal in Gulf War Syndrome

The DoD program is focused on improving the health and lives of Gulf War veterans with Gulf War Illness.  It is funded through annual appropriations by Congress. 

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is considering whether to fund this program again this year, and if so at what level.

In its 2008 study provided to the VA and Congress, the RACGWVI recommended funding at $40 million per year. 

A recent article provided information on how to support this program.

The full June 29, 2010 CDMRP briefing on the DoD’s Gulf War Illness Research Program can be viewed in the document archive

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