VA Commits New Funding for Increased Gulf War Veterans’ Illnesses Research
November 15, 2005

WASHINGTON – In an effort to further answer medical questions involving veterans who served in the Gulf War, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has approved funding for 12 new research projects to better understand illnesses affecting some Gulf War veterans.

The total cost of the research projects, all of which went through a rigorous medical peer review, is estimated to be $5.2 million over three years, with $1.7 million approved for Fiscal Year 2006.  The new programs bring projected Gulf War veterans’ illnesses research spending for FY 2006 to $11.3 million.

 “VA will continue to address the unique health care needs of our Gulf War veterans," said the Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs. "This research should lead to better health care for veterans suffering from a variety of conditions."

Funding for the projects is expected to begin in January 2006, and all research will be conducted at VA medical centers around the country.

Some veterans who participated in Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm have reported a variety of ailments including fatigue, weakness, sleep disturbances, persistent headaches, skin rashes, respiratory problems, and other illnesses at rates that significantly exceed those reported by other veteran groups.

These research projects focus on understanding and treating the illnesses affecting these veterans, as well as understanding the potential long-term health effects of Gulf War-related exposures. 

The newest Gulf War veterans’ illnesses research programs will be organized and administered through VA medical centers located in Bedford, MA; Baltimore, MD; Washington, D.C.; Durham, NC; Miami, FL; Tampa, FL; Minneapolis, MN; Omaha, NE; Salt Lake City, UT; and San Francisco, CA.