Sunday, November 14, 2010

20 Years After the War, DoD at Odds with VA, Institute of Medicine, Science

U.S. Defense Department still touts “stress” research while one-third of veterans of 1991 Gulf War who remain disabled due to chronic multi-symptom illness still seeking effective treatments

Written by Anthony Hardie, 

( – Nearly two decades after the war’s end, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) continues to tout its research into “stress” for veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, despite years of published research studies, including the by federal VA and the Institute of Medicine, that show otherwise.


DoD graphic touting “stress” research for Gulf War veterans.  Retrieved from the DoD website, November 14, 2010. 

A 2008 report by the Congressionally chartered U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses showed that Gulf War illness is real, affects roughly one-fourth to one-third of the 697,000 veterans of the war, and is likely the result of exposures to a combination of chemicals.

And, a 2010 report by the Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that 250,000 Gulf War veterans remain ill and disabled as the result of chronic multi-symptom illness that is unrelated to any psychiatric or psychological disorders.

The DoD’s webpage shows the following, proudly proclaiming many years of research into “stress” as a cause of Gulf War veterans’ chronic multi-symptom illnesses. 

It is widely recognized the stress can aggravate physical health conditions.  However, more than two decades of peer reviewed scientific research recognized by the IOM and the federal VA in their voluminous reports have shown that stress is, at most, an aggravating factor for complex and chronic multi-system, multi-symptom illnesses that continue to afflict and disable roughly one-third of the veterans who served in the Gulf War two decades ago.

It is unclear why that DoD remains at odds with the conclusions of science, the Institute of Medicine, and the federal VA tasked with aiding and assisting veterans of past and current wars.

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