Nearly one-third of the US military personnel deployed in the 1991 Gulf War continue to suffer from Gulf War Illness (GWI), a set of symptoms including chronic pain, fatigue, and memory impairment. Although the exact biology of GWI remains unknown, previous research suggests it is related to neuroinflammation caused by chemical exposure during the war.
Oleoylethanolamide (OEA), which is commonly used as a weight-loss supplement, could reduce GWI symptoms, according to a new study co-authored by a School of Public Health researcher in collaboration with Roskamp Institute investigators.
I got an email yesterday from Dr. James Baraniuk, the researcher who ran the Gulf War Illness research study I participated in back in October 2016. His paper has just been published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature.
It’s interesting research, showing brain differences between GWI and CFS patients. Will it prove useful to me? Probably not. In all honesty, I have not had as many episodes of fatigue since I participated the study, in part due to my taking up running, I believe. I still have occasional cognitive issues (which really piss me off when they happen) but energy hasn’t been too big of a problem. That 65 mile bike ride I did with Travis and Kelly absolutely did wreck me the next day (or two), but I suppose it would do that for anyone else who hadn’t properly trained for it.
I’ve always said that the cognitive issues were the biggest issue for me. I wish I had the memory and mental clarity I had in my twenties. As they say, youth is wasted on the young!
Gulf War Illness (GWI) and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) have similar profiles of pain, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction and exertional exhaustion. Post-exertional malaise suggests exercise alters central nervous system functions. Lumbar punctures were performed in GWI, CFS and control subjects after (i) overnight rest (nonexercise) or (ii) submaximal bicycle exercise. Exercise induced postural tachycardia in one third of GWI subjects (Stress Test Activated Reversible Tachycardia, START). The remainder were Stress Test Originated Phantom Perception (STOPP) subjects. MicroRNAs (miRNA) in cerebrospinal fluid were amplified by quantitative PCR. Levels were equivalent between nonexercise GWI (n?=?22), CFS (n?=?43) and control (n?=?22) groups. After exercise, START (n?=?22) had significantly lower miR-22-3p than control (n?=?15) and STOPP (n?=?42), but higher miR-9-3p than STOPP. All post-exercise groups had significantly reduced miR-328 and miR-608 compared to nonexercise groups; these may be markers of exercise effects on the brain. Six miRNAs were significantly elevated and 12 diminished in post-exercise START, STOPP and control compared to nonexercise groups. CFS had 12 diminished miRNAs after exercise. Despite symptom overlap of CFS, GWI and other illnesses in their differential diagnosis, exercise-induced miRNA patterns in cerebrospinal fluid indicated distinct mechanisms for post-exertional malaise in CFS and START and STOPP phenotypes of GWI.
A government-issued pill intended to protect troops from nerve agents may have made some troops more vulnerable to a chronic condition marked by headaches, cognitive problems, pain and fatigue, researchers say.
People with certain genetic variations were 40 times more likely to contract Gulf War illness if they took pyridostigmine bromide, or PB, pills that the Defense Department issued to protect them from soman, a nerve agent, during the 1990-91 war, researchers concluded in a study funded by the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command and published this month in the journal Environmental Health.
A recently released Georgetown study may help explain why veterans with Gulf War Illness have such a wide variety of physical complaints – researchers have determined that there may be two forms of the illness.
A research team at Georgetown University Medical Center GUMC published their findings online today in PLOS ONE. The study suggests the illness varies depending on which brain regions show atrophy.
On the Gulf War Veterans Facebook group, one of the members asked if anyone had mystery illnesses. It sparked a lively discussion – one that sometimes veered off into black helicopter land – but it did inspire me to share my mystery symptoms with the group. I’ve alluded to these previously but have not shared them in this detail on my blog before.
As I said in my Facebook post, my desire for answers outweighs my reluctance to post this info in a public forum. If you know me you know what a statement that is. I hope it draws out others to share their experiences, too.
Interesting that the National Weather Service is sending test messages about a tsunami, knowing that there is an elevated threat of tsunami from the Canary Islands’ La Palma volcano.
A test of the U.S. National Weather Service’s system to warn Americans about tsunamis appeared to go awry this morning, as residents in states like New York erroneously received alerts that the east coast might be in harm’s way.
At about 8:30 am ET, NWS officials said it sought to complete a monthly test of its tsunami warning system — with an alert that had the word “test” in its message — yet “some users received this test message as an actual tsunami warning.”
Surprise! BP is lying through its teeth again, and the goverment is buying it.
As BP finishes pumping cement into the damaged Deepwater Horizon wellhead Thursday, some scientists are taking issue with a new U.S. government report that says the "vast majority" of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has been taken care of by nature and "robust" cleanup efforts.In addition, experts warn, much of the toxic oil from the worst spill in U.S. history may be trapped under Gulf beaches—where it could linger for years—or still migrating into the ocean depths, where it’s a "3-D catastrophe," one scientist said.
I’ve been watching the live feed of the BP oil spill tonight and becoming very depressed. Those submersibles seem no match for the fury of the raging gusher. It makes me think that I’m only marginally less capable of plugging the leak than BP is.
Some experts estimate 39 million gallons have spilled at this point, with little chance of stopping it soon. Frankly I wonder when this leak will ever be brought under control.
The Gulf will never be the same in my lifetime, sad to say. If ever.
Did I call it right or what? I was happy to see that the U.S. Navy now doubts the source of the radio transmissions accompanying the Iranian speedboat confrontation this week.
It goes without saying the Persian Gulf is a tough neighborhood. Our big ships can be attacked at any minute with little warning or chance to escape. This necessary hair-trigger posture usually keeps sailors safe but can occasionally cause tragic accidents in the confusion and rush to act.
I give our ship captains a lot of credit for taking a deep breath and making the right call in this latest incident.
Wow. It was a mind-bending day yesterday. I felt like I was Forrest Gump, suddenly plopped down in the middle of some unlikely scenario, bewildered.
I spent a leisurely Saturday morning at the lakehouse with the Naylors. We ate breakfast and got Hallie ready to go into the water. About the time Hallie was splashing with Kelly, I had to leave. I rushed out the door and headed back to Raleigh, needing to be at the airport at 2.
I made it back in reasonable time, showered, and ironed my “business casual” attire. I grabbed my cameras and frantically looked up the nearest cash machine. It was 1:15 and I hadn’t even eaten lunch. A call to Char Grill on the way from the credit union got my lunch going. I drove up to the airport gate just in time to finish my hamburger.
A tall, smiling man, just about my age, walked up and said hello. He was Greer Martin, son of D.G. Martin. I knew that smile looked familiar. Greer is an Army vet and was the only other vet there from my generation. He wants to follow in his father’s footsteps, so he’s running for office: N.C. House. We got along well.
I joined the other vets under some trees outside the gate. Handshakes went around. The Navy was well represented, which impressed the Army vets there. I shook hands with Jack Flynn, a retired Navy senior chief who is running against Sue Myrick in Charlotte for N.C. Senate. He came prepared with campaign frisbees and clever “I back Jack” stickers. He worked on tenders during the first Gulf War and seemed to recall working on the Elliot. He went through the precursor of the ECS program (where enlisted sailors can become officers), but blew the whistle on his crooked commanding officer and wound up being cheated out of his comission. He was one of the few enlisted sailors who’d graduated from Officer Candidate School. Reminded me how the Navy Takes Care Of Its Own.
Keith Cook, a friendly retired sargent major, was also running for office. He’s been on the school board for over ten years and wanted to add another term.
Katie Peck, the campaign contact, greeted us and gave us our marching orders. Two rented minivans pulled up to take us into the secure airport area. We welcomed the seats and the air conditioning (it was a sweltering, 90+ degree day).
Wade was my driver. He lives in Colorado but is orginially from North Carolina. He was a volunteer for the Edwards campaign, but was on vacation when he got a call asking him to help with the day’s appearance. Wade agreed and thus became a great host to us.
A pair of reporters from WRAL approached the van and asked us if we were the veterans. Before Wade agreed, he wisely asked his boss, the event organizer, for permission. The reporters would have to wait. We drove the vans inside the gate and pulled them to the side. A Secret
Service agent soaked in sweat politely asked us to step out and get “wanded.” Thanks to the security paranoia now gripping the country, this seemed absurdly routine to me. Then it was back in the van to wait a little more.
The head of the security detail and the event organizer gave us printed sheets with “17” and “Veterans 1” to put in the windshield. The security head briefed the driver on what to do. The motorcade would pull out. We were to wait until there was a gap in the traffic and then pull in. For now, though, we were to pull up beside the hanger and
We shared service stories and got to know one another while we cooled our heels in the van. The event head soon knocked on the window. “We’d like to get some veterans to meet with reporters, if you’re willing.” The three political candidates in the van were out like a shot! When I realized the exodus that had just taken place, I stepped out of the van to be told they’ve “already got enough, thanks.” Which was fine with me, since I didn’t wish to be interviewed.
The rest of us wandered into the hanger. There were dozens of police motorcycles lined up at the other end and a few corporate jets on our end. We watched John Edwards’kids check out WRAL’s Sky 5 helicopter, standing on the platform and scrambling all around.
The Edwards kids were absolutely adorable. Jack is 4 and Mary Cate (?) is 6. Both had backpacks on and were being minded by a young woman assume was their older sister. She seemed to be running out of things to keep them occupied.
The security staff asked us to wait in the van, so it was back outside for us. The campaign press plane landed soon afterward, which was the cue for us to go wait inside. We gathered in the stifling offices of Piedmont-Hawthorne’s hanger and sweated and chatted while we waited for the campaign plane to arrive.
(to be continued)