Should Gulf War Veterans donate blood?
The caution of age makes me want to bring this up to the true advocates for health- NURSES!
WRITTEN TESTIMONY OF Dr. Garth L. Nicolson
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENT REFORM
Subcommittee on National Security, Veterans' Affairs and International Relations
UNITED STATES HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 24, 2002
1. We must stop the denial that immediate family members do not have GWI or illnesses from the Gulf
War. Denial that this has occurred has only angered veterans and their
families and created a serious public health problem, including spread of the illness to the civilian
population and contamination of our blood supply.
BIOLOGICAL EXPOSURES AND GWI
Evidence for infectious agents has been found in GWI patients' urine  and blood [12,26,42-44]. We
[12,26,42,43] and others  have found that most of the signs and symptoms
in a large subset of GWI patients can be explained by chronic pathogenic bacterial infections, such as
Mycoplasma and Brucella infections. In studies of over 1,500 U. S. and
British veterans with GWI, approximately 40-50% of GWI patients have PCR evidence of such infections,
compared to 6-9% in the non-deployed, healthy population [review: 23].
This has been confirmed in a large study of 1,600 veterans at over 30 DVA and DoD medical centers (VA
Cooperative Clinical Study Program #475, S. Donta and C. Engel,
statements at the NIH Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Coordinating Board, 2/00).
GWI CAN SPREAD TO IMMEDIATE FAMILY MEMBERS
During the last year we have documented the spread of GWI infections to immediate family members .
According to one U. S. Senate study , GWI has spread to family
members, and it is likely that it has also spread in the workplace .
INVOLVEMENT OF INFECTIONS IN GULF WAR VETERANS WITH ALS
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset, idiopathic, progressive degenerative disease
affecting both central and peripheral motor neurons. Patients with ALS show
gradual progressive weakness and paralysis of muscles due to destruction of upper motor neurons in the
motor cortex and lower motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord,
ultimately resulting in death, usually by respiratory failure . Gulf War veterans show at least twice the
expected incidence of ALS.
We have recently investigated the presence of systemic mycoplasmal infections in the blood of Gulf War
veterans and civilians with ALS . Almost all ALS patients (~83%,
including 100% of Gulf War veterans with ALS) showed evidence of Mycoplasma species in blood samples.
All Gulf War veterans with ALS were positive for M. fermentans,
SUCCESSFUL TREATMENT OF GWI MYCOPLASMAL INFECTIONS
We have found that mycoplasmal infections in GWI, CFS, FMS and RA can be successfully treated with
multiple courses of specific antibiotics, such as doxycycline, ciprofloxacin,
azithromycin, clarithromycin or minocycline [45,46,53-55], along with other nutritional recommendations.
Multiple treatment cycles are required, and patients relapse often after the
first few cycles, but subsequent relapses are milder and most patients eventually recover [42,43]. GWI
patients who recovered from their illness after several (3-7) 6-week cycles of
antibiotic therapy were retested for mycoplasmal infection and were found to have reverted to a
mycoplasma-negative phenotype [42,43]. The therapy takes a long time because of
the microorganisms involved are slow-growing and are localized deep inside cells in tissues, where it is
more difficult to achieve proper antibiotic therapeutic concentrations.
virus titers. We have also found Brucella infections in GWI patients but we
have not examined enough patients to establish a prevalence rate among veterans with GWI.
VACCINES GIVEN DURING DEPLOYMENT AND GWI
A possible source for immune disturbances and chronic infections found in GWI patients is the multiple
vaccines that were administered close together around the time of
deployment to the Gulf War. Unwin et al.  and Cherry et al.  found a strong association between
GWI and the multiple vaccines that were administered to British Gulf War
veterans. Unwin et al.  and Goss Gilroy  also noted an association specifically with anthrax vaccine
and GWI symptoms in British and Canadian veterans. Steele  found a
three-fold increased incidence of GWI in nondeployed veterans from Kansas who had been vaccinated in
preparation for deployment, compared to non-deployed, non-vaccinated
The link is for thoses who want to read the complete testimony. I have taken the first paragraph from the
middle and deleted most of it for brevities sake. Please do not think I am trying to deceive you. It is hard
to fool a nurse and that is not my plan.
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