With Agent Orange issues finally being addressed, Congress has dedicated $10 million dollars to research Gulf War illnesses. This has subsided concerns about fitting new research into the budget.
This research is different than recent ventures because it is not directed by the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs. The VA focused its research on the mental health issues of Gulf War veterans, rather than assuming a physical cause, while the DoD stopped funding research on Gulf War research several years ago.
A congressionally directed Medical Research Program suggests that the cause of many of the ailments were caused by bug sprays, antinerve agent pills and Sarin gas. The programs also says that treatments such as coenzyme Q10 appears to relieve some Gulf veterans’ symptoms, giving promise that the work being done isn’t in vain.
It is estimated that one in four Gulf War veterans have developed chronic headaches, widespread pain, memory and concentration problems, persistent fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, skin abnormalities or mood disturbances.
Jim Binns, chairman of the federal Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses, maintains that members of Congress of both parties remain strongly committed to finding treatments for Gulf War illness.
The bill has already been passed by the Senate and signed by U.S. President Barack Obama.
Photo thanks to VA Comm under creative commons license on Flickr.