Proposed Gulf War Research Studies

Studies Needing Funding (2013 and beyond)

A. In Phase IV and  Phase V, we generated an immense database containing the greatest variety of brain imaging tests ever performed on the same set of ill and well comparison subjects. We have proposed a large multi-disciplinary statistical analysis project to analyze these data with new techniques from study Phase IX-A to develop a diagnostic test for Gulf War illness—proposal has been submitted to PCORI (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute) and we are awaiting a funding decision. The potential payoff is an efficient diagnostic test using brain imaging or EEG.

B. We also need funding to continue the massive statistical analysis of our immense database for the different purpose of understanding the brain mechanisms involved in causing the symptoms of Gulf War illness. Since millions of dollars have already been spent generating this immense database on representative samples of ill and well veterans, the heavy lifting has already been done, and we need modest funding to complete the analysis of mechanisms. The potential payoff is understanding the brain mechanisms that will help point to novel treatment ideas.

C. When the baseline (unstimulated) RNA gene expression study (see Phase IX-A) in blood samples of ill and well Gulf War veterans failed to identify a diagnostic test for Gulf War illness itself, the next step toward developing a simple blood test for Gulf War illness was to repeat this study except after stimulating the blood samples with certain biochemical stimulants to enhance the RNA signals that differentiate the groups—we are seeking a funding source for this project. The potential payoff is a simple blood test for Gulf War illness.

D. Given that our initial genomic study identified a well-known oncogene (cancer-causing gene) that has been rendered unstable in ill Gulf War veterans compared with well ones, the next step is to sequence this oncogene in the DNA that we have stored on the 2,100 members of our national sample of Gulf War veterans to identify the molecular cause of this instability that may be causing the increased risk of brain cancer in the Gulf War veteran population. The potential payoff is a diagnostic test and a treatment to prevent the development of brain cancer.