DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

Posted March 1, 2021

A GWI Vision: The Future of Treatment

You visit your doctor and she asks you to undergo a new blood test.
You wait a few minutes for the test to process and are called back to hear the results.

She tells you that the test detected an alteration in certain molecular signals. She further explains this alteration was environmentally triggered and is most likely the result of your service in the Gulf War.

She explains that the combination of exposures you experienced during deployment is the key factor in the symptoms that have presented in your case.

The doctor reassures you that the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the symptoms have been identified through the use of exposure-relevant animal models and have been confirmed through clinical validation studies. Therefore, there is a good chance your symptoms can be managed.

Your doctor explains the standard treatment options available to target the altered cellular pathways. She also notes that your health record indicates that, based on your medical history and on information from other Gulf War Veterans who have undergone these treatments, you may have an adverse reaction to one of the recommended therapies.

The health record also identifies a clinical trial of a new therapy, for which you qualify, based on your molecular footprint. The treatment being studied is a combination approach specific for the exposure-relevant pathways that have been activated in your case. Others in the trial share a symptom profile similar to yours and have shown positive outcomes.

Your doctor explains the risks and benefits of participating in the clinical trial and you go home to think it over and talk with your family.

Confident in your own knowledge, you return to your heath professional’s office, enroll in the trial, and immediately receive electronic confirmation with information on the next steps.

You receive a mobile application for your smart phone that allows you to record your symptoms during the trial and send information automatically to your health record.

Every 8 hours, your phone will buzz to remind you to take your medicine and answer a short series of questions about how you’re feeling. It alerts you that you should expect to be fatigued and includes suggestions for managing this.

The next day, a nurse calls you to make sure everything is working properly and to answer any questions. He tells you he will be monitoring your progress throughout the trial and will contact you if the answers you provide indicate anything out of the ordinary.

You feel reassured because your healthcare professionals know a great deal about the drivers of your illness and are helping you make informed decisions to manage your health.

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Last updated Monday, March 1, 2021