VA Announces Dallas Center for Gulf War Illnesses
- VA Announces Dallas Center for Gulf War Illnesses
Secretary Nicholson: VA Continues Commitment to Gulf War Vets
WASHINGTON (December 13, 2005) - A recent funding increase for research
related to illnesses affecting some veterans of the Gulf War - and the
establishment of research treatment centers and a pilot program that
partners VA with a prominent Texas medical center in studying such
illnesses - drew praise today from Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
Secretary R. James Nicholson.
The funding increase for Gulf War illness research, the new research
treatment centers and the creation of the pilot program at University of
Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas were measures incorporated
into the 2006 VA budget by Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas). The
budget was recently approved by Congress and signed by President Bush.
"VA is committed to further investigating the unique health care needs
of Gulf War veterans, and the establishment of research treatment
centers, including this pilot program, will help the department answer
the questions that remain on this important issue," said Nicholson.
Nicholson specifically noted Hutchison's efforts in establishing the
pilot program at the medical center, which is already conducting leading
research on various illnesses affecting veterans of the Gulf War.
"I applaud the efforts of Congress and Senator Hutchison, in particular,
for her continued commitment to this and other important veterans'
issues," Nicholson added.
"I look forward to working in the future with the senator, and all
members of Congress, to ensure that America's heroes continue to get the
world-class care they have earned and deserve."
Under the terms of the VA budget for 2006, $15 million per year for five
years has been earmarked for specific research on Gulf War veterans'
"This new program builds upon VA's history of caring for Gulf War
veterans," said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, VA Under Secretary for Health.
"The strengthened commitment of research will ensure that we explore new
ways to provide the best possible treatments to our veterans."
Ailments ranging from fatigue, weakness and respiratory problems to
sleep disturbances, skin rashes and persistent headaches are among the
illnesses reported by some veterans who took part in Operation Desert
Shield and Operation Desert Storm. Some studies have shown that these
health care problems and other illnesses have been reported by Gulf War
veterans at rates that significantly exceed those reported by veterans
who served in other eras.
The funding earmarked in VA's budget for research on Gulf War veterans'
illnesses allows the department to expand upon 12 research projects it
announced earlier this year. Those projects - which are scheduled to
begin in 2006 and will focus on enhancing understanding and treatment of
illness affecting Gulf War veterans - also pursue the ultimate goal of
better addressing any potential long-term health effects that might be
connected with Gulf War-related exposures.
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