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No More War Over Gulf War Syndrome? Yeah, Right.

Robert W. Haley, professor of internal medicine and chief of epidemiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Nine years ago in the pages of the Dallas Observer, Ann Zimmerman wrote about how Dallas doctors -- chief among them, Robert W. Haley, professor of internal medicine and chief of epidemiology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center -- had diagnosed in Gulf War veterans "a subtle form of brain and nerve damage caused by low-level wartime exposure to a mixture of toxic chemicals, including pesticides, insect repellent, nerve gas, and experimental anti-nerve-gas pills." In short, Haley and his colleagues had cracked the case of Gulf War Syndrome. And as their reward, they were branded charlatans by naysayers, most of whom worked in the Pentagon and the U.S. government.

Well, guess what: Yesterday, I read this. In which it said this:

"Researchers have found signs of structural brain changes in Gulf War veterans with multiple health problems. This comes eight months after a government advisory panel acknowledged that U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq and Kuwait in the early 1990s suffer increased rates of many ailments."

Quoted in the piece is one Robert Haley, who had nothing to do with this study. What he says is this: The new study's findings suggest that "there is a loss of brain cells due to a toxic effect of pesticides and nerve gas, which then causes brain volume shrinkage." What he means is this: Told you so. Again. --Robert Wilonsky

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