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VA Sends Latest Gulf War Illness Report to IOM for Review

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has sent the October 2008 report from the VA Research Advisory Committee on Gulf War Veterans' Illnesses to the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) for review and recommendations.

The October report from the advisory committee identified potential causes for -- and asserted that research supports the existence of -- a multi-symptom condition resulting from service in the 1990 - 1991 Gulf War, which the committee identified as Gulf War Illness (GWI).

Because VA has traditionally and by law relied upon IOM for independent and credible reviews of the science behind these particular veterans' health issues, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake has asked IOM to review the advisory committee's report before VA officially responds to the report's conclusions.

"I appreciate the committee's work on this report, and I am eager to see the results of further independent study into their findings," Peake said. "Of course, VA will continue to provide the care and benefits our Gulf War veterans have earned through their service, as we have for more than a decade."

VA has long recognized conditions, granted benefits and provided health care to Gulf War veterans suffering from a broad range of symptoms, even though these conditions have not been scientifically recognized as a specific disease or injury or GWI.

These include chronic fatigue, persistent rashes, hair loss, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, neurologic symptoms, neuropsychological symptoms (such as memory loss), respiratory system symptoms, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal symptoms, cardiovascular symptoms, abnormal weight loss and menstrual disorders.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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