SOURCE: American Physiological Society, Sep. 11, 2015, Written by Staff Editor.
For Veterans with Gulf War Illness, an Explanation for the Unexplainable SymptomsBy Staff Editor
Sep 11, 2015 - 10:34:25 AM
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The mitochondrion has its own DNA, separate from the cell's, that encodes the proteins needed to produce the molecules that power the body's processes. Damage to the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) directly affects the mitochondria's ability to function and produce energy. Increases in the amount of mtDNA have been associated with disease. In this study, researchers measured the mtDNA amount and degree of mtDNA damage in blood cells from blood samples from veterans with GWI.
Compared with healthy non-deployed controls, Gulf War veterans had more mtDNA content and greater mtDNA damage. According to the researchers, these findings further support that mitochondrial dysfunction may be involved in GWI. "Future studies are necessary to confirm these findings and determine their association with mitochondrial function. Work in this area may guide new diagnostic testing and treatments for veterans suffering from GWI," the researchers wrote.
Yang Chen, MS, doctoral researcher at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, will present "Mitochondrial DNA is damaged in military veterans with fatiguing conditions" as part of the symposium "Translational Bioenergetics" on Thursday, Sept. 10, at 5:05 PM EDT in the Harbour Island Ballroom of the Westin Tampa Harbour Island.
This work was conducted with funding from Veteran Affairs (VA) Clinical Science Research & Development Service awarded to Michael J. Falvo, PhD, at the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center at VA-New Jersey Health Care System in East Orange, N.J.
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About the American Physiological Society
Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 11,000 members and publishes 14 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.