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Study Shows Gulf War Illness Is Real

A report released yesterday says Gulf War syndrome is a legitimate illness suffered by more than 175,000 veterans who were exposed to chemical toxins in the 1991 Gulf War.

The report, which was mandated by Congress, aims to help veterans who have battled the government for treatment of unexplained illnesses — from brain cancer to multiple sclerosis. Earlier studies suggested it was not a distinct illness from the so-called shell shock experienced after combat.

Gulf War illness affects at least one-fourth of the 700,000 US troops who served in the 1991 effort to drive Iraq out of Kuwait, or between 175,000 and 210,000 veterans in all, according to the study.

Symptoms of Gulf War illness include headaches, widespread pain, cognitive difficulties, unexplained fatigue, skin rashes, chronic diarrhea and digestive and respiratory problems. Do you think putting a name on the illness will help veterans gain better medical attention and support?

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