Navigation Links
Study finds chronic abnormal brain blood flow in Gulf War veterans
Date:12/12/2011

OAK BROOK, Ill. Blood flow abnormalities found in the brains of veterans with Gulf War illness have persisted 20 years after the war, and in some cases have gotten worse, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

"We confirmed that abnormal blood flow continued or worsened over the 11-year span since first being diagnosed, which indicates that the damage is ongoing and lasts long term," said principal investigator Robert W. Haley, M.D., chief of epidemiology in the Departments of Internal Medicine and Clinical Sciences at the University of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. "We also identified a special MRI procedure that better diagnoses and distinguishes between the three main types of Gulf War illness."

Gulf War illness is a poorly understood chronic condition associated with exposure to neurotoxic chemicals and nerve gas. It affects an estimated 25 percent of the 700,000 military personnel deployed to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' scientific advisory committee.

There are three main syndromes associated with Gulf War illness, producing a variety of symptoms, including fatigue, neuropathic pain, memory and concentration deficits, balance disturbances and depression.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for forming long-term memories and helping with spatial navigation. Many Gulf War illness neurological symptoms, such as memory loss, confusion, irritability and disorders in motion control suggest impairment of the hippocampus.

In 1998, Dr. Haley's research team published a study using single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) to assess hippocampal blood flow in veterans with Gulf War Syndrome. For the current study, the researchers used a novel technique called arterial spin labeled (ASL) MRI to assess hippocampal regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in 13 control participants and 35 patients with Gulf War syndromes 1 (impaired cognition), 2 (confusion-ataxia) and 3 (central neuropathic pain).

Each patient received intravenous infusions of saline in an initial session, and physostigmine in a second session 48 hours later. Physostigmine is a short-acting cholinesterase inhibitor, used to test the functional integrity of the cholinergic system, a neurotransmitter system involved in the regulation of memory and learning.

"ASL scanning after giving this medication is particularly well suited to diagnosing Gulf War illness, because it picks up brain abnormalities too subtle for regular MRI to detect," said co-author Richard W. Briggs, Ph.D., professor of radiology at UT Southwestern. "This allows us to make the diagnosis in a single two-hour session without the need for exposure to ionizing radiation."

The findings replicated the results of the initial SPECT study of largely the same group of veterans. The results showed that abnormal hippocampal blood flow persisted and may have progressed 11 years after initial testing and nearly 20 years after the Gulf War, suggesting chronic alteration of hippocampal blood flow.

Physostigmine significantly decreased rCBF in control participants and veterans with syndrome 1, but significantly increased rCBF in the right hippocampus of veterans with syndrome 2 in the original study. The abnormal increase in rCBF was now found to have progressed to the left hippocampus with syndrome 2 and to both hippocampi of the veterans with syndrome 3.

"Having an objective diagnostic test allows researchers to identify ill veterans for future clinical trials to test possible treatments," Dr. Haley said. "It is also critical for ongoing genomic studies to see why some people are affected by chemical exposures, and why others are not."


'/>"/>

Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. InNexus Biotechnology Announces Launch of Large Scale Primate Study of DXL625
2. RAND study finds increase in piracy and terrorism at sea
3. Merrimack Pharmaceuticals Initiates Enrollment in a Phase 1 Study of MM-121, an ErbB3 Antagonist
4. Palatin Technologies, Inc. Reports Positive Results of Phase 2a Clinical Study with PL-3994 for the Treatment of Heart Failure
5. Logical Therapeutics Inc. Announces Results of Phase 1b Clinical Study of its Naproxen Prodrug
6. Video: CSL Behring Provides $1.2M Grant for Worlds First Study of Postpartum Women with VWD, Common Bleeding Disorder
7. RainDance and Scripps to Collaborate on Targeted Sequencing for Wellderly Study
8. Preliminary Report of American Biotech Labs HIV Study Featured in Inaugural Issue of Journal of the Science of Healing Outcomes
9. Pharmasset Reports Preliminary Results of a 4-week Proof-of-Concept Combination Study of R7128 for the Treatment of Chronic Hepatitis C in Genotype 2 or 3 Non-Responders
10. ESBATech Announces Successful Completion of Phase I Clinical Study for Lead Antibody Fragment in Ophthalmic Indications
11. Germicidal UVC Lights Improve Clinical Pregnancy Rates for IVF Lab, New Study Finds
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2017)... ... January 20, 2017 , ... ... Surgery (LES®) Technologies, announced today the next evolution in spinal fusion, the ... platform). In contrast to the competition, SpineFrontier is focused on technique driven ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... 19, 2017 /PRNewswire -- WuXi AppTec, a leading ... and technology platform, today announced that it has ... preclinical drug discovery contract research organization (CRO). After ... wholly-owned subsidiary of WuXi, and will continue to ... greater services. The acquisition will further strengthen WuXi,s ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... and GAITHERSBURG, Md. , Jan. ... and Altimmune, Inc., a privately-held immunotherapeutics company targeting ... definitive agreement for the merger of PharmAthene and ... include Novartis Venture Fund, HealthCap, Truffle Capital and ... fully-integrated and diversified immunotherapeutics company with four clinical ...
(Date:1/19/2017)... ... 18, 2017 , ... LabRoots , the leading provider ... world, was today awarded the "Best Science & Technology Social Networking Service 2016" ... decided upon by a dedicated team of researchers and analysts. , The 2016 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:1/6/2017)... , Jan. 6, 2017  Privately-held CalciMedica, Inc., ... in healthy volunteers of a novel calcium release-activated ... acute pancreatitis. Acute pancreatitis, sudden ... mild disorder, but can be very serious.  In severe ... sepsis, where extended hospital stays, time in the ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... VEGAS , Jan. 3, 2017 Onitor, ... the introduction of Onitor Track, an innovative biometric data-driven ... men, showcasing this month at the 2017 Consumer Electronics ... In the U.S., the World Health ... more than two-thirds of adults who are overweight or ...
(Date:12/19/2016)... BARCELONA , España y TORONTO , 19 ... fusión con Northern Biologics Inc. que permitirá el desarrollo acelerado de ... ensayos clínicos en varios tipos de tumor en 2017, con múltiples ... ... de su clase con objetivo en el factor inhibidor de leucemia ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):