And Finally

Gulf War Syndrome Is Real

A congressionally mandated scientific panel has found what tens of thousands of Gulf War veterans have maintained for years: Gulf War syndrome is real. The report comes after nearly two decades of government denials and vindicates the 175,000 US troops afflicted with the disorder. “The extensive body of scientific research now available consistently indicates that Gulf War illness is real, that it is a result of neurotoxic exposures during Gulf War deployment,” the report states. Those neurotoxics include the drug pyridostigmine bromide, which was given to troops to protect against nerve gas, and pesticides used to protect against insects. Troops with the syndrome have reported symptoms that include persistent headaches, concentration problems, general fatigue, and in some cases, chronic digestive and respiratory problems. The panel that conducted the study recommended that Congress appropriate $60 million a year to find a cure. “The importance...lies in what is done with it in the future,” said the panel’s chairmain, James H. Binns, a former principal deputy assistant secretary of defense and Vietnam veteran. “It’s a blueprint for the new administration.”