About the Study

Veterans of the 1991 Gulf War continue to experience chronic symptoms including fatigue, memory and concentration problems, muscle and joint pain, headaches and gastrointestinal problems known as Gulf War Illness (GWI). This research team consists of experts from several disciplines in leading academic and government agencies that will provide further understanding to the pathobiology of GWI. As a team of researchers working together, we believe that we can vastly increase the understanding of the pathobiology of Gulf War Illness and develop targeted treatments for its symptoms through collaboration. Our goal for this study is to learn more about the ways that GWI affects veterans while establishing a central resource site for Gulf War researchers to further encourage collaboration and sharing of information. We are looking for 500 Gulf War veterans, both healthy veterans and those with GWI, to participate in this study to help researchers better understand GWI. A further 200 veterans will be from our previous study, GWIC, allowing us to examine the ways that Gulf War veterans’ health changes over time.

For Participants

Participating in the study would involve a one-day visit to one of our clinical sites (in Boston or Miami). At the visit, you will be asked to give blood samples, saliva samples, and take tests of memory, thinking skills, daily functioning and behavior. We will provide home collection kits for urine and fecal samples to be used for future toxicant screens and microbiome studies. We will also provide a Fitbit for you to keep so we can temporarily monitor sleep quality and heart rate variability. You will be compensated $100 for participating in the study.

To learn more about participating, call 617-358-2230 or email bbrain@bu.edu.

For Investigators

BBRAIN is designed to act as a retrospective and prospective biorepository for GWI through a collaboration of investigators at our resource sites (Boston University School of Public Health, the Bronx VA, the San Francisco VA, and the Miami VA). We are collecting a variety of biological samples as well as demographic surveys and cognitive test data. We will combine demographic, health, and exposure data with cognitive test outcomes and brain imaging data (MRI, DTI, fMRI, PET imaging) from 10 collaborating institutions into a centralized catalog available for data mining and sharing. We will also be including de-identified previously collected survey, clinical, and preclinical data compiled from the 10 participating GWI investigators to be made available to the BBRAIN repository. To learn more or request information, please visit our page for investigators.