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VA Doubles Gulf War Research Funding

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    VA Doubles Gulf War Research Funding October 30, 2002 WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to make available up to $20 million for
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 30, 2002
      VA Doubles Gulf War Research Funding
      October 30, 2002

      WASHINGTON - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) plans to
      make available up to $20 million for research into Gulf War illnesses
      during fiscal year 2004, a figure twice the amount spent by VA in
      any previous year.
       
      The announcement, made by VA Deputy Secretary Dr. Leo S.
      Mackay Jr., highlighted a two-day meeting of VA's Research Advisory
      Committee on Gulf War Veterans Illnesses.  The decision was, in part,
      a response to a committee report in June concerning areas of research
      that need further study.
       
      "We want the best researchers and the best ideas brought to bear on
      this long-standing problem," Mackay said. "Research into Gulf War
      illnesses is an area ripe for important discoveries." 
       
      Studies by researchers from VA and the private sector have found
      evidence of a possible neurological basis for the complaints of some
      veterans. 
       
      The committee, commissioned last January by VA Secretary Anthony
      Principi and chaired by James Binns, a Vietnam veteran, includes
      scientists, business people, Gulf War veterans and veterans advocates.  
      Some members have been critical of previous government efforts to
      diagnose, treat and research the medical problems of some veterans.  
       
      "This is a huge occasion for our work," said Binns. "This is tangible
      evidence that this administration is different and committed to finding
      answers." 
       
      In addition to the increase in funding, VA plans to create a special
      center dedicated to  medical imaging technologies.  These technologies
      are important to understanding Gulf War illnesses as well as other
      conditions important to veterans.
       
      To date, the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services
      and VA have spent $213 million on 224 research projects to answer
      the questions surrounding Gulf War illnesses.  
       
      "Science is finally beginning to unravel the mysteries of Gulf War
      illnesses.  And finally, there is reason for hope," Mackay said.
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