Boston VA Research Institute, Inc. Boston United States
Gulf War Illness GWI is a constellation of symptoms including fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, memory loss, and mood changes reported by Gulf War Veterans shortly after their return in 1991. Approximately 40 of Gulf War Veterans over 14 million Veterans have GWI by the Center for Disease Control criteria for GWI a recommended method for defining GWI. The underlying causes of GWI are poorly understood. The overall goal of our study is to determine if there are differences in blood vessels, skeletal muscle performance, and their controlling proteins and genes in Gulf War Veterans with and without GWI. Abnormalities in these factors may explain the symptoms of fatigue and muscle pain that are major parts of GWI. These insights could lead to new treatments for GWI as well as other illnesses with similar symptoms. Our pilot data show that we can assess blood flow to muscle, muscle strength and fatigue and examine proteins and genes from a specimen of muscle in Gulf War Veterans. We will assess if abnormalities in these factors are potential explanations for GWI. This study is seeking to enroll 70 Veterans 35 with GWI and 35 without GWI and is currently open to enrollment.