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VA Announces Dallas Center for Gulf War Illnesses

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  • Kirt Love
    VA Announces Dallas Center for Gulf War Illnesses Secretary Nicholson: VA Continues Commitment to Gulf War Vets WASHINGTON (December 13, 2005) - A recent
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 13, 2005
      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'
      illnesses. 

      "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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