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Research Topics
Health and Human Services Department of Defense Veterans Affairs Health and Human Services Gulf War Information Department of Defense Gulf War Information Veterans Affairs Gulf War Information Home Home Advanced Search Glossary FAQs Site Map Contact Us
 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas
Research Topics
ACCIDENTS & INJURIES
BONE, JOINT & MUSCLE
BRAIN & NERVOUS
CANCER
CARDIOVASCULAR
CHEMICAL WARFARE
DIGESTIVE HEALTH
ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH
FAMILY HEALTH
GENERAL HEALTH & PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
GENETIC STUDIES
HEALTH RESEARCH OF ALLIED FORCES
IMMUNE/BLOOD SYSTEM
INFECTIONS
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MENTAL HEALTH
MILITARY WORKING DOGS
MORTALITY/DEATH
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH/OUTCOMES
SLEEP DISORDER
Treatment
VACCINES & PROTECTIVE MEDICATIONS
General Health & Physical Symptoms
General
Project Summary

Title: Odors, Deployment Stress, and Health: A Conditioning Analysis of Gulf War Syndrome
Synopsis: This study in humans is designed to evaluate whether or not the unexplained symptoms of Gulf War veterans reflect conditioned responses to chemical odors encountered during stressful situations, with repeated odor exposures leading to long-term symptoms, and whether or not this conditioned response can be reversed.
Overall Project Objective: Investigate the hypothesis that the symptom constellation of Gulf War syndrome (GWS) and other stress-mediated illnesses stemming from military deployment can be understood as conditioned responses to chemical odors encountered under stressful conditions.
Status/Results to Date: Testing of human subjects is pending approval for human testing from the US Army Human Use Committee.
Project:DOD-133
Agency:Department Of Defense
Location:Monell Chemical Senses Center
P.I. Name:Pamela Dalton, Ph.D.
Research Type:Clinical
Research Focus:Brain & Nervous System
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Ongoing
Study Start Date:
Estimated Completion Date:
Specific Aims: Investigate: (1) whether the symptom constellation consistent with GWS may reflect the development of conditioned responses to an unfamiliar, chemical odor paired with a stressful situation; (2) whether, over repeated odor exposures, the conditioned odor symptom relation can become reinforced to produce long-term symptomatology, possibly mediated by neuro-endocrinological and physiological alterations that develop after stress exposures; (3) whether the conditioned odor-symptom relation can be reversed, using an extinction paradigm, or prevented using a latent inhibition or blocking paradigm.
Methodology: Controlled laboratory experiments involving human volunteers (non-military population). Laboratory experiments will involve ambient exposures to low concentrations of odor volatiles in an environmental chamber. Stress will be primarily induced by standardized stress-induction test. Data collection will involve the use of questionnaire instruments and physiological measures, such as cortisol levels, breathing rate and skin conductance, for the assessment of subjective and objective endpoints of health, respectively.
Most Recent Publications:

Dalton P. Evaluating the human response to sensory irritation: implications for setting occupational exposure limits. AIHAJ, 62 (6): 723-9, Nov-Dec, 2001. Abstract

Dalton P. Psychophysical methods in the study of olfaction and respiratory tract irritation AIHAJ, 62(6):705-10, Nov-Dec, 2001. Abstract