- ONE hundred and fifty randomly selected
Gulf War veterans are to be given special neurological tests as part of
a new government drive to discover the cause of the illnesses affecting
hundreds who fought in the 1991 conflict.
- Although there are already a number of
long-term research programmes funded by the Government, none has focused
on the possibility that the combination of vaccines or wide-scale organophosphate
pesticide spraying or other possible causes might have damaged the nervous
- Veterans criticised the previous Government
for ignoring this area of research, especially after a study by Goram Jamal
at the Neurological Institute at Glasgow Southern General Hospital produced
evidence of a link between organophosphate poisoning and brain dysfunction.
Yesterday John Reid, the Armed Forces Minister, said the new clinical tests
would cost between £200,000 and £250,000 and would be carried
out at King's College School of Medicine in London. They would take two
years to complete.
- MoD sources said that 75 Gulf War veterans
who were suffering from illnesses and 75 who had not shown any symptoms
would take part in the clinical tests to examine the interaction between
the nervous system and muscles.
- Although the announcement was welcomed
by the veterans, a spokesman for the National Gulf Veterans and Families
Association said it was already "160 lives" too late, a reference
to former Gulf servicemen the veterans claim have died. Tony Flint, its
chairman, said two veterans a month were dying as a result of illnesses.