What is the GWIC?

The Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP)‘s  Gulf War Illness Research Program (GWIRP) has funded two large consortia studies to investigate key aspects of Gulf War Illness.  Dr. Kimberly Sullivan at the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) is leading of one of these consortia through Boston University School of Public Health.

What is Gulf War Illness?

Gulf War Illness (GWI) is a disorder characterized by multiple persistent symptoms such as chronic headaches, widespread pain, cognitive difficulties, debilitating fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory symptoms, and other abnormalities that are not explained by traditional medical diagnoses or post-traumatic stress disorder. This complex set of chronic symptoms may affect as many as 200,000 to 250,000 veterans of the 1990-1991 Gulf War, out of the nearly 700,000 deployed to that region.

The Boston GWI consortia is conducting cutting-edge pre-clinical (animal/cell studies) and clinical research with veterans at several leading universities, Department of Veterans’ Affairs and civilian hospitals at nine study sites across the US and Australia. The main focus of the GWIC is to identify biomarkers of the disorder and to develop targeted treatments for ailing Gulf War veterans.

Study results to date are listed below.

 Published News Articles on the consortium:

Boston University news article “Gulf War Illness: New Report Lauds Treatment Research, Confirms Toxic Causes

Boston University news article “Closing in on a Medical Mystery

Boston University news article “Helping Veterans with Injuries You Can’t See

Published Studies on Gulf War Illness by researchers in the consortium:

Corticosterone potentiates DFP-induced neuroinflammation and affects high-order diffusion imaging in a rat model of Gulf War Illness.

Multiple Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries Are Associated with Increased Rates of Health Symptoms and Gulf War Illness in a Cohort of 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans.

Neuropsychological characteristics of Gulf War illness: A meta-analysis. 

Reprogramming cells from Gulf War veterans into neurons to study Gulf War illness.

Pharmacologically increasing microtubule acetylation corrects stress-exacerbated effects of organophosphates on neurons.

Phospholipid profiling of plasma from GW veterans and rodent models to identify potential biomarkers of Gulf War Illness. 

Screening for novel central nervous system biomarkers in veterans with Gulf War Illness. 

Long title: Translational potential of long-term decreases in mitochondrial lipids in a mouse model of Gulf War Illness.