British Gulf War Vets
Continue Dying
From Victor Fletcher
From the Times in England
By Michael Evans
Defence Correspondent
ONE hundred and fifty randomly selected Gulf War veterans are to be given special neurological tests as part of a new government drive to discover the cause of the illnesses affecting hundreds who fought in the 1991 conflict.
Although there are already a number of long-term research programmes funded by the Government, none has focused on the possibility that the combination of vaccines or wide-scale organophosphate pesticide spraying or other possible causes might have damaged the nervous system.
Veterans criticised the previous Government for ignoring this area of research, especially after a study by Goram Jamal at the Neurological Institute at Glasgow Southern General Hospital produced evidence of a link between organophosphate poisoning and brain dysfunction. Yesterday John Reid, the Armed Forces Minister, said the new clinical tests would cost between £200,000 and £250,000 and would be carried out at King's College School of Medicine in London. They would take two years to complete.
MoD sources said that 75 Gulf War veterans who were suffering from illnesses and 75 who had not shown any symptoms would take part in the clinical tests to examine the interaction between the nervous system and muscles.
Although the announcement was welcomed by the veterans, a spokesman for the National Gulf Veterans and Families Association said it was already "160 lives" too late, a reference to former Gulf servicemen the veterans claim have died. Tony Flint, its chairman, said two veterans a month were dying as a result of illnesses.

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