New Study Could Discover Causes Behind Gulf War Syndrome

A pharmacology professor from the University of Illinois College of Medicine has begun a study to determine whether a combination of medicines could help veterans suffering from Gulf War Syndrome. Essentially, the disorder is a combination of ailments (including loss of muscle control, chronic fatigue and memory problems) that may mimic other disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

According to a report by the Peoria Journal Star’s, Dr. Stephen Lasley is working with the Pentagon to discover how the conditions during the 1991 conflict affected veterans. This project will be the second he has worked on for the Department of Defense.

Dr. Lasley will inject mice with similar anti-nerve gasses and pesticides that soldiers were exposed to during the war as part of his experiment. He believes that a combination of these agents, combined with battlefield stress has lead to what is known as Gulf War Syndrome.

The project is very significant given that thousands of veterans suffered from the illness when they returned from the Gulf before it was officially recognized as an ailment. This could probably be attributable to the fact that there is no single cause or link to the illness. Lasley further believes that researchers have not considered how influential stress could be in triggering the disease.

While the research is a step in the right direction, new medications or directives for treating Gulf War Syndrome are not expected soon. However, veterans who believe they are suffering from this ailment may still petition for benefits. An experienced veterans’ disability attorney can help facilitate the process.

Source:, Professor hoping to unlock mysteries of Gulf War Syndrome, August 17, 2012.