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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
LUNG & RESPIRATORY
MENTAL HEALTH
MILITARY WORKING DOGS
MORTALITY/DEATH
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH/OUTCOMES
SLEEP DISORDER
Treatment
VACCINES & PROTECTIVE MEDICATIONS
General Health & Physical Symptoms
General
Project Summary

Title: Follow-up of Psychological and Neurocognitive Gulf War Outcome: Relation to Stress
Synopsis: The purposes of this continuation are to examine psychopathology and cognitive functioning in Gulf War veterans and to extend examination of neuropsychological functioning in Gulf War veterans with and without PTSD.
Overall Project Objective: Continuation of project #VA-10 "Memory and Attention in Posttraumatic Stress Disorder." The purposes of this continuation are to examine psychopathology and cognitive functioning longitudinally in Gulf War veterans and to extend examination of neuropsychological functioning in Gulf War veterans with and without PTSD.
Status/Results to Date: Data collection is on-going. 174 deployed and 37 nondeployed veterans participated in the protocol as of 1/11/01.
Project:VA-54
Agency:Department Of Veterans' Affairs
Location:VAMC New Orleans
P.I. Name:Jennifer J Vasterling, Ph. D.
Research Type:Clinical
Research Focus:Brain & Nervous System
Focus Category:General Health & Physical Symptoms
Status:Ongoing
Study Start Date:April 01,1999
Estimated Completion Date:March 31,2003
Specific Aims: 1) To conduct a longitudinal investigation of psychological outcome (psychopathology, negative mood states, and health complaints) in a large sample of deployed and nondeployed Gulf War veterans previously examined at this site; 2) to conduct a longitudinal investigation of PTSD-related neurocognitive deficits in a sample of Gulf War veterans previously examined by our group; and 3) to expand neuropsychological investigation of PTSD through cross-sectional experimental methods targeting hierarchical (global-local) visual processing after threat versus neutral stimuli.
Methodology: To achieve these aims, this project incorporates follow-up evaluation of psychopathology, negative mood states, and health complaints, as well as examination of the extent to which stressor characteristics, early symptom expression, personal resources, and intervening stress are associated with long-term outcome, in a sample of over 800 deployed and 200 nondeployed Gulf War veterans previously evaluated at this site. In addition, cognitive functioning will be examined longitudinally by conducting follow-up neuropsychological evaluation among 70 PGW veterans, categorized into three diagnostic groups (PTSD, no mental disorder, subthreshold PTSD/anxiety, mood disorder), who previously underwent such assessment at the NOVAMC. The specific neuropsychological battery will emphasize attention and memory functions. Global-local visual processing in PTSD will be examined in 60 Gulf War veterans (20 with PTSD, 20 without mental disorder, 20 with subthreshold PTSD or anxiety/mood disorders) on a computer administered reaction time task after undergoing each of two conditions (nonthreat, neutral imagery and threat, stress imagery) counterbalanced for order.
Most Recent Publications:

Vasterling J, Brailey K, Tomlin H, Rice J, Sutker PB. Olfactory functioning in Gulf War-era veterans: relationships to war-zone duty, self-reported hazards exposures, and psychological distress. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 9(3)407-418. Mar 2003. Abstract