Gulf War Illness research breakthrough. Gut feeling by the University of South Carolina

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What we found is that the altered gut bacteria and their cell wall components seep into the circulatory system and causes neural inflammation,” he says. His team published a paper on their findings last year in PLoS One, which prompted an outpouring of interest from veterans and veteran organizations.

The fatigue, muscle pain, memory and other neurological impairment, rashes and diarrhea that are hallmarks of the illness might stem from exposure to environmental agents, including anti-nerve gas drugs, pesticides, smoke from burning oil wells and depleted uranium munitions. Subsequent studies have been inconclusive, and effective treatment has been elusive.