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Baylor University scientist receives major grants for health research on 1991 Gulf War veterans
Date:11/1/2012

WACO, Texas (Nov. 1, 2012) - Baylor University has been awarded two new federal grants for research on Gulf War illness, the complex medical condition that affects veterans of the 1991 war. The grants, from the Office of Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs of the U.S. Department of Defense, total nearly $1.6 million, and bring current federal funding for Baylor's Gulf War research program to over $2.3 million.

"These grants will support our intensive effort to find answers for the many thousands of veterans still suffering from Gulf War Illness," said Lea Steele, Ph.D., the Baylor University epidemiologist who directs the program. The funding supports projects to address multiple aspects of the problem, including studies on the biological processes causing veterans' symptoms and development of a nationwide network to advance health research, particularly studies leading to effective treatments, for Gulf War illness.

Gulf War illness is the term commonly used for the symptomatic condition that affects military personnel who served in the 1990-1991 Gulf War. Symptoms typically include some combination of chronic headache, widespread pain, memory and concentration difficulties, and digestive and other abnormalities - problems that are not explained by medical or psychiatric diagnoses or by routine laboratory tests.

Studies indicate at least one in four of the 700,000 military personnel who served in the 1990-1991 war are affected, and that few have recovered over time. "Gulf War illness may no longer be as high profile as health issues from more recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it remains a very serious problem for many thousands of ill veterans," said Steele, who is research professor in the Baylor Institute of Biomedical Studies. "This work is especially important here in Central Texas, which is home to one of the largest concentrations of 1991 Gulf War veterans in the country."

The federal grants awarded to B
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Contact: Frank Raczkiewicz
frank_raczkiewicz@baylor.edu
254-710-1964
Baylor University
Source:Eurekalert

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