Gulf War Syndrome Finally Recognized by Government - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

11/17/08

Gulf War Syndrome Finally Recognized by Government

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The U.S. government released a very important report Monday that acknowledges something that tens of thousands of veterans already knew; that "Gulf War Syndrome" is a legitimate physical condition.  

More than 175,000 U.S. war veterans have become ill after exposure to chemical toxins in the 1991 Gulf War. Since then, the vets have been fighting the government for recognition of the illness and treatment. Vets have described a wide range of unexplained neurological illnesses, from brain cancer to multiple sclerosis.  

Finally, a committee composed of independent scientists and veterans agree that the condition is real.  The committee is urging congress to boost funding for research on Gulf War Veterans' health to at least $60 million per year. Symptoms of Gulf War Syndrome can include persistent headaches, widespread pain, cognitive difficulties, unexplained fatigue, skin rashes, chronic diarrhea, and digestive & respiratory problems.

The panel also found two possible causes: a drug given to troops to protect against nerve gas, known as pyridostigmine bromide, and pesticides that were heavily used during the war.

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