Brains scans of symptomatic Gulf War veterans show differences

Contact: Angela Babb
ababb@aan.com
651-695-2789
American Academy of Neurology

BOSTON — Veterans of the first Gulf War who returned with multiple health symptom complaints show significant differences in brain structures from their fellow returnees without high numbers of health symptoms, according to research that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, April 28 – May 5, 2007.

The study involved 36 veterans of the first Gulf War (1990-1991). Half of the veterans had a high number (more than five) of symptoms, such as joint pain, fatigue, forgetfulness, headaches, skin rash, nausea, and difficulty concentrating. The other half of the veterans had a lower number (five or fewer) of symptoms.

Researchers found that two areas of the brain involved in thinking and memory were significantly smaller in the veterans with a high number of symptoms than in the veterans with fewer symptoms. The overall cortex was five percent smaller in those with more symptoms, and the rostral anterior cingulated gyrus was six percent smaller.

Those with more symptoms also did not perform as well on tests of learning and memory. On one test, those with more symptoms scored 15 percent lower than those with fewer symptoms; the score was 12 percent lower on another test. The researchers found that the smaller the brain volume was in those areas, the worse the veterans performed on the memory tests.

“We don’t know the cause of these differences in the veterans’ brain volumes, but the hypothesis is that they are related to exposure to hazardous substances during the first Gulf War,” said study author Roberta White, PhD, of Boston University School of Public Health. “Many troops were exposed to hazardous substances such as pesticides, and other studies have shown that exposures to these substances affect the central nervous system.”

###
EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 7 A.M. ET, TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2007
Media Contact:
Robin Stinnett, (651) 695-2763, rstinnett@aan.com
AAN Press Room HCC 203 (April 28 – May 4): (617) 954-3126

The study was supported by a Veterans Affairs Merit Grant.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of over 20,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com.

Editor’s Note: Dr. White will present this research during a scientific poster session at 7:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1, 2007, in Exhibit Hall A of the Hynes Convention Center.

She will be available for media questions during a briefing at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, April 30, 2007, in the on-site Press Interview Room, room HCC 204. All listed times are for Eastern Time (ET).

If you are a member of the media interested in listening to the press briefing via conference call, please call the AAN Press Room (April 28 – May 4) at (617) 954-3126.

FMS Global News

Tenderpoints

Advertisements

About FMS Global News

Folllowing Rick Usher's death in December 2008, at his request in September of that year, I had agreed, as his principal contributor and an experienced journalist, to run the FMS Global News service due to his heavy commitments to music and raising research funds through this avenue. Following his sad and sudden death I hope to continue his work as he would have wished.
This entry was posted in Article, Autoimmune Diseases, Awareness, Britain, Chronic Multisymptom Illness, Clinical, Conference, Diseases, Europe, Feeds, Fibrohugs, Fibrohugs News, FMS Global News, Global News, Gulf War Syndrome, Health, Invisible Illness, Medical, Medical Journals, Medical Research, Medical University, News, News Australia, News Canada, News France, News India, News Ireland, News Israel, News Jerusalem, News Korea, News Montreal, News Norway, News Quebec, News Saskatchewan, News Scotland, News Spain, News Sweden, News Turkey, News UK, Ontario, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Research, RSS, Statistics, Stockholm, Swedish, Tenderpoints, Toronto, Universities, US, Virginia, Washington DC, World, World News. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s