Understanding the cause of Gulf War Illness (GWI) has proven elusive since the condition became recognized shortly after the first Gulf War. Research has been devoted to addressing the complex of symptoms observed in GWI-afflicted service members. It is also essential to discover the origins of this disease and methods to detect it, for the protection of the warfighter. Dr. James Baraniuk, of Georgetown University, is researching a potential source for the onset of GWI, examining proteomic disparities between veterans with GWI and healthy control groups in hopes of discovering potential biomarkers and learning more about the mechanism(s) of GWI.
Dr. Baraniuk received a fiscal year 2006 Investigator-Initiated Research Award through the Gulf War Illness Research Program to study carnosine dipeptidase 1 (CNDP1) polymorphisms and carnosine therapy in GWI. The research aims to identify biological markers of disease in GWI-afflicted veterans compared to other veterans from the 1990-91 era. Dr. Baraniuk will compare the treatment effects of carnosine to placebo in GWI subjects, and effects on exercise tolerance, activity, and cognition will be examined. The potential for CNDP1 polymorphisms to alter the outcomes of treatment and the risk of developing GWI will also be investigated. This type of study is required to determine if those with different forms of the CNDP1 enzyme respond to treatment in the same way.
Dr. Baraniuk recently gained Investigational New Drug status from the FDA for the use of carnosine and is recruiting patients for current and future clinical trials. Those interested in more information can contact Dr. Baraniuk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2008 Gulf War Illness Research Highlights