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 Research Topics    |    Major Focus Areas
Research Topics
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General
Project Summary

Title: A Re-examination of Neuropsychological Functioning in Persian Gulf War Veterans
Synopsis: This study will re-test an earlier described group of Gulf War veterans for changes in behavior or brain function and compare them to non-deployed veterans, in order to determine if they have worsened, and if any worsening observed is associated with reported exposures or disorders.
Overall Project Objective: Determine if there is progressive cognitive decline, specifying domains, in GW deployed veterans; and to detemine any factors correlated with any decline.
Status/Results to Date: Preliminary results of the first 50 study participants suggest relatively static performances in GW veterans on test-retest measures with a four-year interval. These preliminary findings do not support continued diminution of veterans' performances on neuropsychological measures. However, neither do these performances suggest improvement of cognitive functioning over this time period. It is possible that the relatively static performance in these GW veterans could be consistent with long-term patterns expected from neurotoxicant exposure. However, continued follow-up of cognition and mood in these veterans should provide a clearer picture of this pattern.
Project:DoD-114
Agency:Department Of Defense
Location:Boston University
P.I. Name:Roberta F White, Ph. D.
Research Type:Epidemiology
Research Focus:Brain & Nervous System
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Ongoing
Study Start Date:January 24,2000
Estimated Completion Date:February 23,2003
Specific Aims: The specific aims of the project are: 1) to determine whether objective test measures reveal any progressive diminution in cognitive function by comparing test performance observed initially (1995-1998) to performance 4 years (+/- 6 months) later among Gulf-deployed veterans compared to non-Gulf deployed controls, and 2) to identify the factors associated with any diminutions that are observed such as chemical exposures, stress, psychiatric disorders, motivational disorders, or multiple health complaints.
Methodology: Longitudinal epidemiological survey of previously studied population of veterans with self-reported GW exposures to neurotoxic substances.
Most Recent Publications:

White RF. A Re-assessment of current mood state in Persian Gulf War-Era Veterans. Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Aug 2001. Abstract

White RF. A Re-examination of Neuropsychological Functioning in Gulf War-Era Veterans. Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association, Aug 2001. Abstract

Krengel M, White RF, Proctor SP, Wolfe J, Heeren T, Sullivan K, Devine S. Neuropsychological deficits in Treatment-Seeking Persian Gulf War-era veterans. International Neuropsychological Society 28th Annual Meeting, Denver, Colorado, Feb 9-12, 2000. Abstract

Sullivan K. Neuropsychological deficits in association with stress reaction and pyridostigmine bromide intake in PGW-era veterans. N/A, Planned in 2000. Manuscripts

White RF, Proctor SP, Heeren T, Wolfe J, Krengel M, Vasterling J, Lindem K, Heaton K, Sutker PB, Ozonoff DM. Neuropsychological function in Gulf War veterans: relationships to self-reported toxicant exposures. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 40(1):42-54. Jul 2001. Abstract