Curcumin Nanoparticle Therapy for Gulf War Illness
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PUBLIC ABSTRACT Gulf War illness (GWI), seen in nearly 30% of the 700,000 Persian Gulf War 1 (PGW-1) Veterans, is typified by multiple chronic health problems, which also includes brain-related impairments. The most noticeable brain impairments include cognitive problems, inability to make new memories, and depression. Multiple possible causes have been proposed for this illness. A comprehensive report by the Veterans Affairs Research Advisory Committee (VA-RAC) on GWI suggests that the symptoms displayed by a significant fraction of PGW-1 Veterans are most likely owed to an exposure to chemicals such as pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and pesticides such as DEET and permethrin (PM) during the war. These exposures were believed to have befallen due to the following situations. First, to decrease the harmful effects of a likely nerve gas attack during the war, the troops were given pyridostigmine bromide (PB) as a prophylactic treatment. Second, pesticides such as DEET and PM were widely used by troops on skin and uniforms to combat insects and rodents in the region. Causes of GWI in some Veterans likely also include exposure to chemical weapons (especially for those Veterans who were stationed near the chemical weapon depot demolitions). Thus, it is widely believed that the neurological symptoms in a vast majority of Gulf War Veterans are owed to a synergistic interaction of chemicals PB, DEET, and PM or interaction of one or more of these chemicals with war-related stress. Indeed, studies performed in our laboratory using a rat model showed that combined exposure to low doses of chemicals PB, DEET, and PM with or without mild stress for 4 weeks causes considerable dysfunction of the hippocampus, a region of the brain important for maintenance of normal memory and mood function. These include cognitive impairments...........