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Gulf War syndrome real, report says

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Washington (UPI) Nov 17, 2008
Gulf War syndrome is real and afflicts about 25 percent of the 700,000 U.S. troops who served in the 1991 conflict, a U.S. report said Monday.

Two chemical exposures consistently associated with the disorder -- one to a drug given to soldiers to protect against nerve gas and the other used to protect against desert pests -- were cited as causes in the congressionally mandated report presented to Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"The extensive body of scientific research now available consistently indicates that Gulf War illness is real, that it is a result of neuro-toxic exposures during Gulf War deployment, and that few veterans have recovered or substantially improved with time," the report said.

The report supports complaints made by hundreds of thousands of U.S. and allied veterans who reported various neurological problems, the Times said. The government for years maintained that the symptoms manifested were because of stress or other unknown causes.

The panel of scientists and veterans also called upon Congress to appropriate $60 million annually to conduct research into finding a cure for the disorder.

"The tragedy here is that there are currently no treatments," said panel chair James H. Binns, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense and a Vietnam veteran.

Many Gulf War veterans reported problems with memory and concentration, persistent headaches, unexplained fatigue and widespread pain. Other complaints include chronic digestive problems, respiratory symptoms and skin rashes.

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US confident of Iraq troops accord
Washington (AFP) Nov 19, 2008
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