(91outcomes.com) - An even larger number of Gulf War veterans exposed to Gulf War chemical warfare agents have brain deterioration than previously thought, accordingly to the results of a newly published research study.
In an early study, Dr. Lindo Chao and her research team found evidence of, "reduced cortical gray matter (GM), white matter (WM), and hippocampal volume," in veterans of the 1991 Gulf War who were among those exposed to low-level nerve agents following demolitions of chemical-laden munitions shortly following the end of the war.
In her team's new study published on February 23, 2016 in the peer-reviewed medical journal, Neurotoxicology, Chao reports that veterans who report having merely heard chemical alarms sounding have similar degenerative changes in their brains.
According Chao's news study, "The current findings suggest that exposure to substances that triggered those chemical alarms during the Gulf War likely had adverse neuroanatomical effects."
2016 Feb 23;53:246-256. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2016.02.009. [Epub ahead of print]
Associations between the self-reported frequency of hearing chemical alarms in theater and regional brain volume in Gulf War Veterans.
We previously reported evidence of reduced cortical gray matter (GM), white matter (WM), and hippocampal volume in Gulf War (GW) veterans with predicted exposure to low-levels of nerve agent according to the 2000 Khamisiyah plume model analysis. Because there is suggestive evidence that other nerve agent exposures may have occurred during the Gulf War, we examined the association between the self-reported frequency of hearing chemical alarms sound during deployment in the Gulf War and regional brain volume in GW veterans.
Ninety consecutive GW veterans (15 female, mean age: 52±8years) participating in a VA-funded study underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on a 3T scanner. Freesurfer (version 5.1) was used to obtain regional measures of cortical GM, WM, hippocampal, and insula volume. Multiple linear regression was used to determine the association between the self-reported frequencies of hearing chemical alarms during the Gulf War and regional brain volume.
There was an inverse association between the self-reported frequency of hearing chemical alarms sound and total cortical GM (adjusted p=0.007), even after accounting for potentially confounding demographic and clinical variables, the veterans' current health status, and other concurrent deployment-related exposures that were correlated with hearing chemical alarms. Post-hoc analyses extended the inverse relationship between the frequency of hearing chemical alarms to GM volume in the frontal (adjusted p=0.02), parietal (adjusted p=0.01), and occipital (adjusted p=0.001) lobes. In contrast, regional brain volumes were not significantly associated with predicted exposure to the Khamisiyah plume or with Gulf War Illness status defined by the Kansas or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria.
Many veterans reported hearing chemical alarms sound during the Gulf War. The current findings suggest that exposure to substances that triggered those chemical alarms during the Gulf War likely had adverse neuroanatomical effects.
Published by Elsevier B.V.
Brain imaging; Cerebral volume; Chemical warfare agents; Gulf War veterans
- [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
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