Research/studies Military

Soldiers with Gulf War Illness may have memory problems: study

Dallas – Gulf War Illness may cause memory problems in veterans, concludes a new study from the University of Texas.

An estimated 25 percent of military personnel from the Persian Gulf War have GWI, a chronic illness associated with exposure to sarin nerve gas and other chemicals.

As part of the study, veterans with GWI underwent functional MRIs while performing memory tasks. When compared to healthy veterans, the group with GWI took more time to complete tasks and was less accurate. The performance of veterans with GWI declined further as memory demands increased, according to the study abstract.

During difficult tasks, veterans with GWI had less activity in the prefrontal cortex area of the brain, which could indicate reduced ability to use complex thinking strategies, according to researchers.

The study was published online Oct. 10 in the journal Clinical Psychological Science.