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<H3 style="FONT-SIZE: 17px; MARGIN: 15px 0px 5px; COLOR: #000000">Scientific panel concludes Gulf War syndrome is a legitimate illness.</H3>NBC Nightly News (11/17, story 11, 0:40, Williams) reported, "A major federal study released" Monday "puts to rest the question of whether Gulf War Syndrome...is real or not." The "450-page report concludes that exposure to toxic chemicals, including a drug meant to protect troops from nerve gas, sickened one in four of the almost 700,000 veterans in the 1990 to '91 conflict. Veterans' groups said today's report vindicates them after years of denial on the part of their government."

The Los Angeles Times (11/18, Engel, Maugh II) reports that the panel, "chartered by Congress, cites nerve gas drug and pesticides used during the conflict as being associated with veterans' neurological problems." And, in stark contrast to "nearly two decades of government denials," the panel "concluded that Gulf War syndrome is real and still afflicts nearly a quarter of the 700,000 U.S. troops who served in the 1991 conflict." According to the report, "two chemical exposures [are] consistently associated with the disorder: the drug pyridostigmine bromide, given to troops to protect against nerve gas, and pesticides that were widely used -- and often overused -- to protect against sand flies and other pests."

UPI (11/18) adds, "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." The scientific panel, as well as veterans, "called upon Congress to appropriate $60 million annually to conduct research into finding a cure for the disorder," since "there are currently no treatments."

According to CNN (11/18, Silverleib), the panel noted that "few veterans afflicted with Gulf War illness have recovered over time."

The panelists "compared [the government's] foot-dragging and denials to the treatment of earlier troops who claimed that they'd been dangerously exposed to Agent Orange and other toxic herbicides in Vietnam and radiation during World War II," McClatchy (11/17, Goldstein) reported. The scientists also charged that "federal research into the causes behind the mysterious malady has 'not been effective,'" and stated that "there is...a common perception that federal policymakers have not vigorously pursued key research in this area and that federal agencies have disincentives...for providing definitive answers to Gulf War health questions."

These "findings led to immediate calls for official action on both sides of the Atlantic," the U.K.'s Independent (11/18, Sengupta) notes. "In the U.K., troops' welfare groups said the British Government must do more to help those affected, and carry out its own comprehensive research." Like the U.S. government, "the British Government has insisted there is not enough scientific evidence so far to prove the existence of Gulf War syndrome. But, it has agreed to offer war pensions to members of the forces who became ill after serving in the first Gulf war."

HealthDay (11/17, Reinberg) noted that, according to the panelists, "Gulf War veterans have much higher rates of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease) than other veterans, and soldiers who were downwind from large-scale munitions demolitions in 1991 have died from brain cancer at twice the rate of other Gulf War veterans." In order to reach these conclusions, "the panel reviewed evidence about a wide range of possible environmental exposures that could cause Gulf War illness. That review included hundreds of studies of Gulf War veterans, research in other groups of populations, animal studies of toxic exposures, and government investigations about events and exposures during the Gulf War." The USA Today (11/17, Winter) On Deadline blog and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (11/17, Barber) Now Hear This: Seattle's Military Blog also covered the story.

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I still have my empty blister pack with cover, kept it as a keep sake. Think it will help my case?

Good question bb,

I don't have that but I do have my SMR's that show I took the stuff. I'll find out during my next exam I guess.

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I m going to submit my paperwork and the illness or injury I m going to simply state Gulf War Illness. Would that suffice?

Did they give you a Illness opinion during your Gulf War Registery exam? If so include that. I would think that would be enough proof.

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