blood flow

Scientists find Gulf War veterans have chronic abnormal blood flow in brains

Wednesday, September 14, 2011 by: S. L. Baker, features writer
Tags: Gulf War Syndrome, blood flow, health news

eTrust Pro Certified

Delicious Pin It
(NaturalNews) More than 20 years after the end of the Gulf War, tens of thousands of US veterans are still complaining of a host of symptoms developed during or after their tour of duty.

They suffer from memory and concentration problems, chronic headaches, widespread pain, depression, balance disturbances, gastrointestinal problems, chronic fatigue and more. The latest figures from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs scientific advisory committee on the Gulf War illness show about 25 percent of the 700,000 military personnel deployed to the 1991 Persian Gulf War are affected.

The cause of what is often called Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) is still unknown but prime suspects are exposure to depleted uranium weapons, neurotoxic chemicals including pesticides, nerve gas, and multiple vaccines given to the soldiers by the military. Another explanation that has been widely circulated over the decades is that GWS is simply a bogus disease of malingerers and hypochondriacs --- a condition that is "all in their heads."

This dismissal of the suffering of veterans who insist they are severely ill with GWS has come from a wide spectrum of so-called experts including doctors, journalists and some government officials. For example, former New England Journal of Medicine editor Marcia Angell sarcastically called it a "will o the wisp" syndrome in a New York Times interview. And self-styled health claims debunker journalist and lawyer Michael Fumento have scoffed that anyone who hasn't had the kind of symptoms GWS sufferers claim to experience would have to be an android.

Now there's new and compelling evidence that GWS really is a disease that is, in fact, "in the heads" of veterans suffering with the cluster of health problems that make up the controversial syndrome. Specifically, it is in their brains.

A new study just published online in the journal Radiology documents blood flow abnormalities found in the brains of veterans with Gulf War illness that have persisted 20 years after the war. In some veterans, the blood flow abnormalities have gotten worse over time.

"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," 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, said in a statement to the media.

The hippocampus is the part of the brain responsible for forming long-term memories and helping navigate space. The UT researchers noted that many of the GWS neurological symptoms, including memory loss, confusion, irritability and disorders in motion control, are clues that the hippocampus may be impaired.

For the just published study, Dr. Haley's research team used a new technique called arterial spin labeled (ASL) MRI to assess hippocampal regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in 13 control participants and 35 patients with GWS. The scientists noted that there appears to be predominance of one of three types of symptoms in GWS patients : impaired cognition; confusion and ataxia (lack of voluntary muscle control); and central neuropathic (nerve) pain.

Each patient in the study first received intravenous infusions of saline and then, after 48 hours, an infusion of a short-acting cholinesterase inhibitor called physostigmine. Physostigmine is used to test how well the cholinergic system (a neurotransmitter system involved in the regulation of memory and learning) is working in the brain.

Richard W. Briggs, Ph.D., professor of radiology at UT Southwestern and co-author of the new research paper, pointed out in the media statement that scanning the brain after giving the cholinesterase inhibitor medication is particularly well suited to diagnosing Gulf War illness because it picks up brain abnormalities too subtle for regular MRIs to detect. "This allows us to make the diagnosis in a single two-hour session without the need for exposure to ionizing radiation," Dr. Briggs said.

The findings replicated the results of a previous nuclear imaging test called a SPECT (single-photon emission computerized tomography) scan which was performed by Dr. Haley largely on the same group of veterans over a decade ago. The new study shows that the abnormal brain blood flow detected then had persisted.

In fact, the new findings revealed something else very troublesome: the brain abnormalities may have progressed 11 years after initial testing and nearly 20 years after the Gulf War, suggesting chronic alteration of hippocampal blood flow.

For more information:

Get breaking news alerts on GMOs, fluoride, superfoods, natural cures and more...
Join over four million monthly readers. Email privacy 100% protected. Unsubscribe at any time.

Have comments on this article? Post them here:

comments powered by Disqus

Take Action: Support

Email this article to a friend

Permalink to this article:

Reprinting this article: Non-commercial use OK, cite with clickable link.

Embed article link: (copy HTML code below):
Most Popular
Today | Week | Month | Year

See all Top Headlines...


Now Available at

O3 Essentials OraJuvenate™
A powerful, cleansing dental cream for maximum oral/dental health.
New Cancer Solutions
Over 3 hours of content covering today’s best cancer tests, how to kill cancer cells and the best diets and exercise routines.
Freeze-Dried 100% Organic Whole Corn
Our freeze-drying method preserves taste, texture and nutrients better than any other food preservation method ever invented.
Fenix TK35 Flashlight
Tough, waterproof, extremely bright and it’s touted to throw an 800+ lumen beam more than 1,000 feet into the night.
Inca Treasure Smoothie Pack
This pack of our four most popular superfoods from South America is the perfect combo pack for smoothie lovers.
Pink Himalayan Salt
This salt delivers significant levels of magnesium, zinc and selenium, with trace levels of dozens of other elements.
Pinhole Glasses - Aviator Style
Pinhole glasses are becoming famous for helping people improve their vision without the risks of laser surgery.
Oxy-Rich Facial Serum
O3 Essentials Jojoba Oxy-Rich Facial Serum is cellular nourishment for your skin. Helps smooth fine lines while enhancing tissue elasticity.
Freeze-Dried 100% Blackberry Halves
Our freeze-dried blackberry halves are grown in Serbia under strict organic standards.

Also on NaturalNews:

Health Ranger Videos
Activist music
CounterThink Cartoons
Food documentaries
FREE Special Reports
Colloidal Silver

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Support NaturalNews Sponsors:

Advertise with NaturalNews...

Most Popular Stories

Flu shot kills 19-year-old, but vaccine industry still has total immunity against lawsuits
Here's a nutty fact: Eating more tree nuts lowers the risk of all-cause death by up to 20 percent
Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 now clearly a government cover-up: All evidence contradicts official story
10 other companies that use the same Subway yoga mat chemical in their buns
BLM fracking racket exposed! Armed siege and cattle theft from Bundy ranch really about fracking leases
High-dose vitamin C injections shown to annihilate cancer
U.S. treating meat with ammonia, bleach and antibiotics to kill the '24-hour sickness'
USDA to allow U.S. to be overrun with contaminated chicken from China
Vaccine fraud exposed: Measles and mumps making a huge comeback because vaccines are designed to fail, say Merck virologists
Battle for humanity nearly lost: global food supply deliberately engineered to end life, not nourish it
Diet soda, aspartame linked to premature deaths in women

25 Amazing Facts About Food

This FREE downloadable report unveils a collection of astonishing and little-known facts about the food we eat very day. Click here to read it now...


Resveratrol and its Effects on Human Health and Longevity - Myth or Miracle.

Unlock the secrets of cellular health with the "miracle" nutrient Resveratrol Click here to read it now...


Nutrition Can Save America

FREE online report shows how we can save America through a nutrition health care revolution. "Eating healthy is patriotic!" Click here to read it now...

The Healing Power of Sunlight and Vitamin D

In this exclusive interview, Dr. Michael Holick reveals fascinating facts on how vitamin D is created and used in the human body to ward off chronic diseases like cancer, osteoporosis, mental disorders and more. Click here to read it now...

Vaccines: Get the Full Story

The International Medical Council on Vaccination has released, exclusively through, a groundbreaking document containing the signatures of physicians, brain surgeons and professors, all of which have signed on to a document stating that vaccines pose a significant risk of harm to the health of children. Click here to read it now...

Health Ranger Storable Organics

GMO-free, chemical-free foods and superfoods for long-term storage and preparedness. See selection at

Recommended Resources On:

Natural News trends
Health Ranger news
Natural News GMOs
Mike Adams tracker
Natural News photos
Natural News Global
Natural News in focus
Natural News connect
Natural News shocking stories
Natural News radar
Health freedom
Dr. Paul Offit

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

eTrust Pro Certified Android app on Google Play

Sign up for the FREE Natural News Email Newsletter

Receive breaking news on GMOs, vaccines, fluoride, radiation protection, natural cures, food safety alerts and interviews with the world's top experts on natural health and more.

Join over 7 million monthly readers of, the internet's No. 1 natural health news site. (Source:

Your email address *

Please enter the code you see above*

No Thanks

Already have it and love it!

Natural News supports and helps fund these organizations:

* Required. Once you click submit, we will send you an email asking you to confirm your free registration. Your privacy is assured and your information is kept confidential. You may unsubscribe at anytime.