New study looks at illnesses linked to Operation Desert Storm

On April 17, the Department of Veterans Affairs and National Institutes of Health launched a  collaborative research project investigating Gulf War Illness (GWI). This study aims to obtain a better understanding of GWI to develop definitive diagnostic criteria, testing and potential treatments.

GWI refers to a group of unexplained or ill-defined chronic symptoms in veterans deployed to the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield. The problems reported from GWI include joint pain, fatigue, rashes, memory issues and digestive problems, with no apparent cause. It afflicts about one-third of the 700,000 U.S. troops who served during these operations.

The causes of the illness have been debated for over three decades. Deputy National Legislative Director Shane Liermann calls the new study significant in potentially outlining more precise guidelines for filing those claims and seeking medical treatment for the illness.

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To learn more about the study or how you can volunteer, visit