Friday, March 25, 2016

Bay Pines Researcher selected to Receive CDMRP Grant to Study Gulf War Toxins

This study is funded by the Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP) within the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), which are carried out under specific Congressional direction by the Department of Defense.



SOURCE:  Bay Pines VA Medical Center, March 25, 2016


From: Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
Date: Fri, Mar 25, 2016 at 9:35 AM
Subject: Bay Pines Researcher selected to Receive Grant to Study Gulf War Toxins

Dr. Bruce Citron, a Molecular Biologist with the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System (VAHCS) Research and Development Service, was selected to receive a Department of Defense (DoD) research grant for a three-year study to examine the relationship between toxin exposure and neurological issues experienced by Gulf War Veterans.
Grant funding is being provided by DoD’s Office of Congressionally Directed Research Programs (CDMRP). The grant award totals nearly $545,000.
The study will test the hypothesis that exposure to Gulf War toxins such as nerve agent protectant, insect repellent and insecticides produce measurable negative neurological changes impacting cognitive performance, neuronal connectivity in the brain, and normal brain cell function. Citron will also test the hypothesis that antioxidant therapy may stop or slow down disease processes associated with diagnosed neurological issues like Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
“The data tells us that about 20 percent of Veterans who served in Operation Desert Storm have some type of Gulf War illness. Within this group, neurological conditions are very common,” said Citron, who also serves as a professor with the Department of Molecular Medicine, Morsani College of Medicine, University of South Florida.
“This is obviously a significant health concern and one that we are trying to better understand through research,” he continued. “Understanding the brain and neurological mechanisms has been a research focus of mine for many years. This grant is allowing us to expand research into these areas as well as further explore possible therapeutic agents that may arrest or slow down neurological decline.”
The study is scheduled to begin next month and conclude in March 2019 and includes the participation of members of his lab, Drs. Jessica Chang and Whitney Ratliff, and collaborators from the University of South Florida, Drs. Clifton Gooch, Ronald Mervis, and Getachew Dagne.
“Research is a critical part of our mission here at Bay Pines as well as the entire Veterans Health Administration,” said Dr. Allison Williams, Associate Chief of Staff for Research, Bay Pines VAHCS. “VA Research is also unique because of its focus on health issues that affect America’s Veterans.”
“We are very proud that Dr. Citron has been selected to begin research work in an area that affects so many Veterans that bravely served during the Gulf War,” she continued. “It is our aim to better understand the relationship between toxin exposure and neurological issues while contributing to advancements in health care for Veterans and others.”
When active, Citron’s study will become one of many active research protocols ongoing within the Bay Pines VAHCS. In 2015 alone, the healthcare system’s Research and Development Service managed 54 active research projects funded at more than $1.6 million. Active areas of study include neurological disorders, cardiology, mental health, audiology, infectious disease, dermatology, pulmonology, oncology and long-term care.
To learn more about VA Research, please visit

About the Bay Pines VA Healthcare System The Bay Pines VAHCS is one of the nation’s leading VA healthcare systems, employing more than 4,000 medical professionals and support staff dedicated to providing the very best care to Veterans residing in southwest Florida. The organization is the fourth busiest VA health care system in the country in terms of patients served and is accredited by The Joint Commission, Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, and several other nationally recognized accrediting organizations. The Bay Pines VAHCS operates nine facilities to include the main medical center located in Bay Pines and outpatient clinics located in Bradenton, Cape Coral, Naples, Palm Harbor, Port Charlotte, Sarasota, St. Petersburg, and Sebring. To learn more, please visit or like us on Facebook at


Unknown said...

Ok at its face this seems great. However there has been a long history of tampering of data with the VA. How are we supposed to trust this is legit and will produce something of real value to our veterans of the first GW?

pat fero said...

Once the study design is made public (maybe it is now) can look at how this is different than all the other studies on toxic exposure and neurological issues. AH...that's why some chemicals are called TOXIC. NOW... organophosphates and organochlorines that were considered safe in 1988, have been reclassified. I do hope they look at the combination of toxic exposure, vaccines, physical trauma and surgical drugs. I am not a vet, but after an infection and a difficult birth, we used all kinds of pesticides to get rid of fleas. 1983 - 1988. That is a long time for that baby to crawl and walk around in a field of Cholinesterase inhibitors. I became ill in 1980, got much worse though those years and the child became ill when he was about 4. He died when he was 23 of viral myocarditis, but was sick all those years. No, I did not go to war, but if I can find all kinds of research on toxic exposure & surgical drugs, toxic exposure and children, why has it taken this long to make it stick with vets? Anyway, I hope it is a well designed study. It seems that when it comes to vets and he feds might have to pay up, studies become more inconclusive. - Daughter of a WWII Japanese POW, Cabanatuan and Hirohata, Japan.

azzy41 said...

My symptoms give me constant chilled sweats, muscles cramp and nerve and skeletal pain. A recent trip into a Philippine ER had the doc giving me a potassium Kato injection, as my symptoms are similar to both Dengue and Malaria. I was at my lowest pain levels in over 20 years in less than 40 minutes. They scrapped my VA med as dangerous and reckless, gabapentin,Tramadol,tylenol.. And put me on potassium Citrate, Norgesic Forte, esomprazole, with oxycondone for rest. I'm still bedridden for now,but replacing the conductive mineral salts seem to take care of the muscle dysfunction and pain. Worth a try for any vet in a lot of pain, with constant sweats. It's the sweats that are leaching the minerals out.