Operation Desert Storm, which was popularly known as the first Gulf War was a military operation to expel the Iraqi forces who were occupying part of Kuwait. It was considered as a successful response allied by the U.S. with Iraq to stop their attempt in overwhelming Kuwait. A new era of military technology was brought to a battlefield with the 1991 liberation of Kuwait. The after war scenario was not only unpleasant with the bloodshed of all martyrs but also a curse. The curse of the gulf war disease- the medically unexplained disease.
Gulf war veterans’ illness is medically unexplained as it comes with different symptoms like insomnia, indigestion, fatigue, memory problems, headache, dizziness, respiratory disorders, joint ache, and many such illnesses. Veterans refer to this as “undiagnosed illness” or “chronic multisymptom illness” because of the wide range of symptoms that are reported to vary from one another. However, the good news is that the researchers of Rutgers University have finally come up with some conclusions in their years of study and have developed a device to improve the balance in Gulf war Veterans who have been reported with this unexplained illness. This was among the first studies to examine how veterans are affected by the Gulf war illness and essential for brain blood flow, memory and balance. The complete research is soon to be represented in the annual meeting of the Neuroscience Society this week.
New Device to Help Veterans Overcome Balance Problem
After 25 years of conflict, the reason for this unusual epidemic has not been found, although they are yet to develop a treatment that can be effective. The Vestibular function of about 60 veterans participating in Operation Desert Storm were examined under which 54 were reported to suffer from the Gulf war illness and the remaining 6 were reported as healthy. 36 of the 54 participants were civilians and had the same age and sex. It was discovered that poor balance and reduced vestibular function was prevalent in all the veterans with the Gulf war illness.
One Way Leads to Another- Success of Electrical Stimulator to Open New Treatment Opportunities
The researchers developed a device- a stimulator that ran on electricity as part of their discovery to search for a solution. This stimulator was attached to a box, the size of a Walkman and the other end was clipped to the earlobe. This box generated a random electrical noise pattern at low level and is indistinguishable to the person wearing it. A random noise pattern was added to the participant’s vestibular system by the electrical stimulation. This stimulation travelled into the inner ear through the earlobes and acted as the accelerometer of the body. The added noise was seen to be improving the balance of veterans up to a 100%. Thus, the findings were a success and gave further direction to mend other Gulf War problems in the near future.