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 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas    |    Reports
Major Focus Areas
Health and Human Services Department of Defense Veterans Affairs Health and Human Services Gulf War Information Department of Defense Gulf War Information Veterans Affairs Gulf War Information Home Home Advanced Search Glossary FAQs Site Map Contact Us
 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas    |    Reports
Major Focus Areas

Biological Warfare Agents
CARC Paint
Chemical Warfare Agents
Depleted Uranium, DU
Oil Well Fires
Pesticides
Pyridostigmine Bromide, PB
Reproductive Health
Stress
Undiagnosed Illnesses
Vaccines
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Department of Defense

gulflink.health.mil
GulfLINK provides the public with thousands of pages of documents and reports relevant to the investigations into the illnesses affecting Gulf War veterans.

The Department of Defense (DoD) has played a leading role in funding medical research to explore the diagnoses, causes, and treatments of illnesses that occurred in some veterans who served in the Persian Gulf during Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. Through fiscal year 2002, DoD has furnished 72% of the $212.6 million government expenditure on such research.

GULF WAR MEDICAL RESEARCH COORDINATION

Representatives of the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, and Veterans Affairs (VA) served on the Research Working Group (RWG) of the Persian Gulf Veterans Health Coordinating Board (PGVCB), and, later, the Military and Veterans Health Coordinating Board. The purpose of the RWG was to promote coordination and collaboration to ensure both economy and efficiency of effort in developing and funding a robust research program. The RWG developed research plans in 1995 and 1996, periodically assessed the state of the research, and ensured that research gaps and emerging issues were identified and addressed in an effective and efficient manner. Priorities were reviewed and modified in 1998. The RWG also played a key role in emphasizing the importance of peer-reviewed research. Since 1999, the RWG has broadened its scope to address deployment health and force health protection research topics in support of future deployments.

DOD´S GULF WAR RESEARCH PROJECTS

Department of Defense-funded research has focused on the symptoms and general health of Gulf War veterans and on the areas of central nervous system function. It has also included research into chemical warfare agents, depleted uranium, pyridostigmine bromide (nerve agent pretreatment tablets), environmental toxins, infectious diseases, immune functions, anthrax immunizations, reproductive health, and stress-related illness. Recently, DoD, in collaboration with the VA, began a long-term epidemiological study, termed the Millennium Cohort Study, to identify health effects that may be associated with deployments subsequent to the Gulf War. The study will eventually include up to 140,000 people who will be medically followed throughout their military career and into civilian life.

Along with the extensive medical research funded by DoD, its Office of the Special Assistant for Gulf War Illnesses (OSAGWI) initiated a number of investigations to clarify and document the hazards veterans may have encountered during service in the Persian Gulf. Findings from these investigations were documented in environmental exposure reports that covered such areas as depleted uranium, oil well fires, and pesticides.

In addition to these environmental exposure reports, OSAGWI accomplished in-depth investigative case narratives on all possible incidents occurring during and after the Gulf War that may have involved exposure to chemical warfare agents. These included the post-war demolition of chemical munitions in Khamisiyah, Iraq, that may have resulted in very low levels of exposure (below levels believed to cause any long-term health effects) of up to 100,000 US personnel.

Complementing the environmental and chemical warfare agent incident reports, OSAGWI also funded publications prepared by the RAND Corporation. The authors reviewed the scientific literature on some of the potential health hazards faced by our forces during the Gulf War. The reports described what was known about the health effects of these potential hazards and pointed out gaps in scientific knowledge. RAND published reviews of the scientific literature on infectious diseases, pesticides, chemical and biological warfare agents, pyridostigmine bromide, stress, depleted uranium, use of investigational drugs and oil well fires.