Veterans with Gulf War Illness show brain changes linked to memory deficits

Posted By News On October 15, 2013 - 8:30pm

New research illuminates definitive brain alterations in troops with Gulf War Illness (GWI) thought to result from the exposure to neurotoxic chemicals, including sarin gas, during the first Persian Gulf War.

"More than 250,000 troops, or approximately 25% of those deployed during the first Persian Gulf War, have been diagnosed with Gulf War Illness (GWI). Although medical professionals have recognized the chronic and often disabling illness for almost two decades, brain changes that uniquely identify GWI have been elusive until now," explained principal investigator Bart Rypma of The University of Texas at Dallas.

This study, published in Clinical Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, is novel in that it confirms GWI deficits in working memory, a critical cognitive function that enables short-term retention of information for higher-level thinking ability.

In addition, brain alterations revealed in the study show a consistent pattern representing a neurobiological marker that could potentially be used to positively identify GWI.

The research team assessed three aspects of working memory: accuracy, speed, and efficiency. Results showed that participants with GWI performed significantly slower and less accurately than matched healthy veterans, and their efficiency decreased with increasing task difficulty.

During these difficult conditions, the participants showed relatively lower levels of activity in prefrontal brain regions which may compromise their ability to implement effective, higher-level thinking strategies in cognitively demanding situations.

"Our results revealed that at the root of cognitive issues in GWI patients are profound working memory deficits that correlate with a unique brain change visible in the fMRI scanner. These results support an empirical link between exposure to neurotoxic chemicals, specifically sarin nerve gas, and cognitive deficits and neurobiological changes in the brain," said Rypma. "Implementing interventions that improve working memory could have positive effects on many aspects of daily life from the ability to complete a shopping list, match names with faces, all the way to elevating mood."

"Difficulty remembering has been the most common, unexplained impairment resulting from service in the 1991 Persian Gulf War," said Robert Haley, co-investigator and Chief of Epidemiology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "This functional MRI study provides the first objective evidence showing the exact malfunctions in the brain's memory circuits that underlie these chemically induced memory problems."

The new findings may also have implications for the treatment of several disorders involving similar neural systems, including one Alzheimer's disease.

"Both GWI and Alzheimer's disease result in profound cognitive impairment and share similar neurochemical underpinnings," explained the study's lead author Nicholas Hubbard. "The distinct neural markers associated with cognitive performance and GWI revealed in our study can be useful for future research to objectively measure the efficacy of treatments for GWI as well as other brain disorders related to the same neurotransmitter system, like Alzheimer's disease."

2013 Specialty and Sub-Specialty Testing for Gulf War
and Returning Veterans in DoD / VA Hospitals.
Not being done !
1). Dr. Nicolson Doxycycline Test ( 50 % Positive Showing of 1991 veterans ).
Dr. Engel Walter Reed / Dr. Donta B/U / LTG. Ronald Blank study of Mycoplasma fermentans
2). Exercise Behavior Therapy ( EBT ).
3). Dr. Ya Fang Liu, - Neurodegenerative Disorders.
4). DNA Testing - Chromosome Damage Test, Heavy Metal Testing, others.
5). Dr. Meryl Nass - Vaccines testing. Remove Thermisol . Shots over a period of time.
6). Dr. Hymans Urine Test.
7). Dr. Haleys Brain Test - Confusion / Ataxia.
8). Dr. Haleys Hyperbaric Testing - Wound Care, Currently not being done.
9). Dr. Leisure Murray - Leishmaniasis - infectious disease, Lyme, west nile and triple eee viruses.
10). Dr. Mohamed Abou Donia - CFS / MCS / FM Testing. And Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine will also be the first in the nation to study neuroinflammatory and neurodegenerative disorders. Nancy Klimas, M.D. Miami VA Medical Center in the Gulf War Illness research program. March 2012
11). Dr. Baumzweiger - Brain Stem Fungus.
12). Dr. Pam ASA - Autoimmune Condition, arthritis or joints
13). Dave Bergs - Heparin Injections and Virus infections in the heart.
14). Sand Exposure and washing of the Lungs - ( 5 yr. rule ) Al-Eskan Disease
15). Qxci - Testing. Electrical Feed back. ( ALT. Testing )
16). Nerve Gas Testing ( Tap Test ). Neurological
17). Fat Testing ( Chemical load of body ) Internal Medicine test
18). Acupuncture Treatments for gulf war illnesses ( Trial ). 2011
19). XMRV - Testing retro-virus / a type of virus known to cause leukemia / CFS
20). Dr. Michael Mullan motor skills, memory, stability and other problematic symptoms.
21). Alternative and Natural Medicine Testing at DoD / VA Hospitals.
22). Dr. James Baraniuk Georgetown University. MRI’s and CFS
23). Dr. Li is a neurologist at the Washington, DC WRIISC

SSG / E-6 Edward J. Bryan ( Retired )

685 Broadway St. Unit # 74
Malden, Mass. 02148 
Ph. 781-321-3161

U.S. Army ( Disabled ) 1974-2000
Life Member Whitman DAV # 119
Life Member Medford VFW # 1012
U.S. Firefighter ( Medford ) Retired 1986-2000
Health Care Liaison ( VA / BU ) 1994-2001
Researcher for Gulf War Illnesses 1992-Present
VA VISN-1 Mini-Mac member 1998-Present
Walter Reed Veteran Health Advisory Council ( VHAC ) Deployment Health, 2000-2002.

How to File a VA Claim
Gulf War 1 / 2 / 3, OIF / OEF / OND
Example; Just go over the 18 issues and go over each item. Of course you cannot have all the items as complaints. This is just a guide. All you need is to work your claim through the advocates DAV, VFW, AL. You also can learn from different veterans groups. You may also benefit from going to a vet center nearest you. Bring this to your service officer or send it in as a claim. The Longest War in U.S. History May 1980- Present.
End of War 2025 per the U.S. Congress.

Department of Veterans Affairs
Boston Regional Office
John F. Kennedy Building
Government Center-Room 1265
Boston, Mass. 02203

Subject: Gulf War Injuries and Diseases


Dear service officer
I need to review my claim with your office and find out How my claim can be addressed with my complex issues. My issues should be addressed in some format, the presumption law is still in effect until the end of the year. December 31, 2016. I have been going to the VA Hospital for help and I believe that my medical files and my information that I have here today has enough information to look further in to my claim as its relates to my military service. I still think my commanders did not read the nerve agent book as we were trained and the commanders were removing the mask way to soon from our training exercises as we went to war and practice this over and over. Before Desert Storm I use to run and exercise 2-3 times a week, now I cannot even get out of my way, something happened in the gulf war, this is not me and I wish I had my old self back again. These are the issues to look at with my service in the gulf war that I believe that I was exposed to and are related to my service in the gulf in 1991. To include any and all types of cancers to the human body. Some doctors say it will take over 25 years for cancers and injuries to manifest. I believe that the environmental toxins or the toxic bowl of soup effect that VA Research Investigators quoted is related to my service related injuries in the Gulf War of 1991.

Claims that need to be reviewed and increased because of my current complaints
1). Heart
2). Ear Nose and Throat issues, Diagnostic Code 8865

1). Sore Throat and post nasal drip
2). Breathing
3). Sand Storms, Sand exposures. Al-Eskan Disease and Reiter's syndrome
4). Oil Rain, Oil Fires, Oil Smoke exposures
5). Chemical Alarms going off and on with not proper way to remove masking procedures FM 8-285
6). Hearing Loss - Aircraft Noise - Scuds Alarms ( KKMC ) - Rifle Ranges - bombing campaign
7). Reaction to smells, odors and fumes
8). Green phlegm all the time
3). Lung Issue, and Pleura Diagnostic Code 8868

1). Low level Nerve Gas Exposure Tap Test or MRI Carbon Monoxide or white matter disease
2). Black Lung. Oil Well Fires
3). Sneezing
4). Shortness of Breathe
5). Chest Tightness
6). Reiter's syndrome

4). Heart Issues, 8870

1). Heart Attack
2). Skipped Heart Beats
3). High Blood pressure
4). Shortness of Breathe
5). Chest Pain - ongoing
6). Blood thinners
5). Musculoskeletal Issues, 8850 and 8852

1). Upper and Lower back pain
2). Muscle spasms
3). Neck pain
4). Muscle Fatigue and twitching
5). Muscle Aches - Since 1991
6). Muscle Pain
7). Stiff Joints
8). Multiple Vaccines
6). Eyes Issues, Diagnostic Code 8860

1). Glaucoma
2). Sensitive to sun
3). Blurring
4). Floaters
5). Night vision problems
7). Upper Digestive System Diagnostic Code 8872

1). Stomach Pain
2). Sharp Pain
3). Belching
4). Reflux - omprezole 20mg
5). Teeth problems
6). Cannot chew my food properly

8). Lower Digestive Diagnostic Code 8873

1). Bloated
2). Cramping
3). Rumbling gas
9). Hemic and Lymphatic Diagnostic Code 8877

1). Bruising
2). Blood clotting
3). Blood - infectious disease
4). Any blood disorder
5). Any cancer blood related disorder
6). Clotting

10). Systemic Disease Issue Diagnostic Code 8863

1). Sand
2). Reiter's syndrome exposure ( reactive arthritis )
3). Malaria
4). Joint pain - arms and legs ( cannot run )
5). Leishmaniasis
6). Fatigue ( C F S )
7). General achiness
8). Mosquitoes -
9). Sand Flies

11 ). Neurological Issues, 8881

1). Headaches
2). Night sweats
3). Carbon Monoxide Exposure from vehicles, oil rain and oil well fires
4). Depression
5). Sleeping difficulty
6). Leishmaniasis - Mosquito bites
7). Lyme Disease
7). Pesticides Exposures - Used daily
8). Fatigued comes and goes
9). Cannot sleep through the night
10). Sharp pains in my neck and back
11). Any neurological disease
12). Psychophysiologic Issues, Diagnostic Code 8895

1). P.T.S.D.
2). Depression
3). Hyper
4). Irritability
5). Fatigue
6). Difficulty sleeping

13). Dental

1). Bleeding gums
2). Excess tooth deterioration
3). Stomach gas in mouth
4). Vomiting off and on in 1991 war and still have problems with my stomach and vomiting up to the present time. I really didn’t think this was related to my service, doctors said I should submit a claim for this issue.

14). Environmental exposures that could cause some of my medical conditions,
1). Exposure to Nerve Gas and Chemical warfare agents ( low level )
2). Pyridostigmine Bromide Pill
3). Multiple Vaccinations
4). Pesticides
5). Deet
6). Burning feces - latrine duty - Burning pits
7). Oil and Oil Well Fires 850-1000 oil wells on fire ICD Code E990.9 injury war operations fires conflagrations unspecified ICD-9 Code of 2012
8). Exposure to lead from fuel oil and gas products on roadways
9). Exposure to sulfur and sewer gases
10). Dead animals
11). Depleted Uranium
12). Carbon Monoxide Exposure ( Vehicles and Oil Well Fires ).
13). Sand ( Al-Eskan Disease ) and Reiter's syndrome
14). Sewer gases, Burning feces or burning pits
15). Leishmaniasis
16). Bottled water not refined to U.S. E.P.A. Standards
17). Diesel Fuel exhaust and Tent Heaters
18). Diesel fuel sprayed on roadways
19). Food - Out dated - high bacteria rate -

15). Endocrine System Diagnostic Code 8879
1). Change in Thyroid function
2). Change in Metabolism
3). Weight Gain / Weight Loss
4). Temperature deregulation

16). Exposures to Sun
1). Any Skin Disease
2). Any Skin Cancers
17). Endemic Diseases

1). Mosquitoes bites
2). Sand Flies and
3). Reiter's syndrome
4). Leishmaniasis
5). Any endemic diseases

18). Liver Failing.
1). Fatty Liver
2). Over five Pounds
3). More then 20 points

Claim Number