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IN BRIEF

Brain Cell Loss Seen in Victims of Gulf War Syndrome

May 25, 2000

Brain scans of veterans suffering from Gulf War syndrome show evidence of significant brain cell loss, researchers report in today's Radiology. Compared to healthy veterans, the sick ones had 20% fewer brain cells in the brain stem, 12% fewer in the right basal ganglia, and 5% fewer in the left basal ganglia, according to Dr. James Fleckenstein and his colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

That reduction is similar in magnitude to losses in patients with brain diseases such as multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Fleckenstein said. Preliminary results from the study were reported in November.

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