[ RadSafe ] Etiology of the Gulf War syndrome

Rainer.Facius at dlr.de Rainer.Facius at dlr.de
Thu Mar 13 04:56:22 CDT 2008

So much for DU as THE etiological agent of the Gulf War syndrome.


Published online on March 10, 2008
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 10.1073/pnas.0711986105


Acetylcholinesterase inhibitors and Gulf War illnesses

Beatrice Alexandra Golomb* 
Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, CA
Communicated by Stephen F. Heinemann, Salk Institute for Biological
Studies, San Diego, CA, January 15, 2008 (received for review December
5, 2006)


Increasing evidence suggests excess illness in Persian Gulf War veterans
(GWV) can be explained in part by exposure of GWV to organophosphate and
carbamate acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (AChEis), including
pyridostigmine bromide (PB), pesticides, and nerve agents. Evidence
germane to the relation of AChEis to illness in GWV was assessed. Many
epidemiological studies reported a link between AChEi exposure and
chronic symptoms in GWV. The link is buttressed by a dose-response
relation of PB pill number to chronic symptoms in GWV and by a relation
between avidity of AChEi clearance and illness, based on genotypes,
concentrations, and activity levels of enzymes that detoxify AChEis.
Triangulating evidence derives from studies linking occupational
exposure to AChEis to chronic health symptoms that mirror those of ill
GWV. Illness is again linked to lower activity of AChEi detoxifying
enzymes and genotypes conferring less-avid AChEi detoxification. AChEi
exposure satisfies Hill's presumptive criteria for causality, suggesting
this exposure may be causally linked to excess health problems in GWV. 

Gulf War veteran | pyridostigmine | pesticide | sarin | organophosphate

Dr. Rainer Facius
German Aerospace Center
Institute of Aerospace Medicine
Linder Hoehe
51147 Koeln
Voice: +49 2203 601 3147 or 3150
FAX:   +49 2203 61970

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