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Observations VA-RAC Feb 2003 Meeting

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  • Venus Hammack
    About the VA-RAC meeting (part 1 of 3) I m reporting here comments and discussions that I heard at this hearing . Yet my personal impress short & dirty is:
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 7, 2003

      About the VA-RAC meeting (part 1 of 3)

      I'm reporting here comments and discussions that I heard at this hearing .

      Yet my personal impress short & dirty is:

      **Research Recommendation**

      Committee tightly focus on Neuro-chemistry is dysfunctions.

      Why unless they know Nerve agents’ releases/exposures DID occur in gulf War Theater. It seems they are “very timid” to put in writing their recommendations,

      for fear that VA-Research & Deployment offices will shot it down or laugh at.


      **Treatment Recommendation**

      Committee got excited on small treatment trials looking at alternative medicine treatments, but because it might help only on symptoms or because it may not total cure the vet; the committee backed away.     


      **Communication Recommendation**

      Committee says they are behind on posting their meeting minutes because of funding shortage or staffing shortage.  If this is true, where is money for this Committee is going?

      I know the Committee members aren't getting salary. It was my assumption funding for administrative support was supplied by DVA. Feedbacks from any veterans’ letters/emails to Committee are not posted.


      Bottle Line --it's not what this Committee says which matters - it what they put in writing, which will make me believe, true support for disabled gulf war vets.


      VA-RAC is concerned  if the standard CD questionnaire on PTSD is being used with a DIS screen with CAPs .

      national health Survey on gwv and families phase I & II 1995 medical evaluation was seen a prevalence of several illnesses in cohort I & II during a 3 year period returned at 16 VAMC’s by a two day examination. Only on third of the non-deployed came back for the repeat exam.


      VA-RAC noticed that the phase III evaluation on Families did not address- if the

      spouses being recorded are the same who they were married to back in 1990.

      The questionnaire did not ask how many remarriages had occurred.


      VA-RAC reported that the CDC is doing factor analysis on those who suffer from GWS.


      VA-RAC pointed out that Roberta White (VA-PTSD) chief  researcher reports not seeing a marked increase in PTSD in the gulf war population with multi-symptoms illnesses.


      VA-RAC asked why isn’t other illnesses or disorders in child of gulf war vets being reported in current studies.


      VA-RAC reported observing in the latest Studies, which they reviewed, the deployed GW have a poorer health than the non-deployed.


      VA-RAC appeared interested to recommend studies looking in persistent-low level exposure to Sarin in heat impact M3 receptors, noticeable effects.


      VA-RAC discussed study PB and Deet crossing the blood brain barrier, should disruption of the forebrain as found in the Journal of NeuroBiology 2002.


      VA-RAC reviewed Journal of NeuroSci- on alternation of brain blood flow in high levels exposures.


      VA-RAC reported that the Lawrence Livermore Labs looking at pesticides in blood stream using mass spectrographic analysis.


      VA-RAC reported they were unable to locate studies on dental health of gulf war era veterans.


      VA-RAC reported finding in studies they reviewed since their last meeting which shows CFS is 3 times greater than PTSD in gulf war era veterans


      VA-RAC again is very concern that the rate of accidental deaths in the NAIS Database found increase risk of 1.6% for male GWV and 3.2% for female GWV.


      VA-RAC listened to a presentation from Directors of the WRIIS – DC [war related clinic] and WRIIS-NJ [war related clinic-orange] these individual said they would want to work closely with this Committee. 


      VA-RAC is currently reviewing a study which shows a

      2 fold use of  hospital and doctors visits;

      increase rate cognitive function impairments;

      increase rate CFS & Sexual Trauma and PTSD;

      increase rate of miscarriages in gulf war veterans


      The millennium Cohort Study includes 100,000 active duty all branches and troops from Bosnia and Kosovo in 1997. The length of this study is 21 years long and not targeted to gulf war troops.


      ++++++ this report continues in the next email ++++++++

      Jagmedic - deployment illness advocate - DSBR

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