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Characterizing Treatable Causes of Small Fiber Polyneuropathy in Gulf War Veterans

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2014,29 Sep 2015

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Massachusetts General Hospital Boston United States

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Damage to the small nerve fibers that sense pain and regulate function of internal organs results in small-fiber polyneuropathy SFPN. SFPN symptoms include unexplained chronic widespread pain CWP and chronic multisymptom illness CMI similar to Gulf War Illness. Our prior research demonstrated that SFPN is prevalent in such CWP and CMI syndromes and that it can have onset at a young age. Given these non-specific symptoms, objective testing is recommended for SFPN diagnosis. In the first year of this study, an Internet-based framework for developing a formal Case Definition of SFPN was developed. Global experts were invited to participate in a Delphi method process to determine the most reliable markers for SFPN Case Definition. We also will determine if common blood tests have utility in diagnosing SFPN because some causes are treatable. We performed a preliminary retrospective study to identify blood tests with historically good predictive value.

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