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Gulf War Syndrome

Volume 492: debated on Friday 8 May 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research his Department has undertaken into the pathological basis of new iatrogenic diseases caused by chemicals including therapeutic agents recognised to modify the phenotype of human tissues in respect of illnesses identified in those who served in the Gulf War in 1990-91. (272833)

No projects have been undertaken to date. We are unaware of published peer reviewed evidence of new iatrogenic diseases caused by chemicals, including therapeutic agents in ill veterans who served in the Gulf in 1990-91. The Medical Research Council (MRC) provides the MOD with independent expert advice on its Gulf research programme. In 2003 the MRC carried out a review of published research into UK Gulf veterans’ illness and the main recommendation was that research aimed at improving the long term health and well-being of Gulf veterans with persistent symptoms should take priority. A copy of the report is published on the MRC web site found at the following link;

www.mrc.ac.uk/Utilities/Documentrecord/index.htm?d=MRC002464.

A contract for research into possible ways of rehabilitating ill Gulf veterans has been awarded to a group at Cardiff University. The project involves close working with veterans and ex-service charities and is now in progress.