VA Palo Alto Awarded Robotic Arm for Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS)

Veteran Research

Veterans With Gulf War Syndrome

GULF WAR VETERANS WITH HEADACHES NEW TREATMENT APPROACH USING rTMS

rTMS in Alleviating Pain and Co-Morbid Symptoms in Gulf War Veterans Illness (GWVI) and Long Term Efficacy of Neuronavigation Guided rTMS in Alleviating Gulf War Illness Related Headaches and Pain Symptoms

  • Headaches (HA), muscle and joint pain, are some of the most common debilitating symptoms in military personnel served in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War (GW1). Migraine like HA and diffuse body pain were detected in 64% of Gulf War Veteran (GWV) diagnosed with Gulf War Illness (GWI). 
  • Unfortunately, conventional pharmacological treatments for GWI-related pain has not been shown to be effective and drugs such as narcotics contain many long term untoward psychosomatic and abusive side effects.
  • This study is assessing the effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), non-invasive treatment option, in alleviating headaches, muscle, and joint pain symptoms of GWI.
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Gulf War Veterans’ Medically Unexplained Illnesses

A prominent condition affecting Gulf War Veterans is a cluster of medically unexplained chronic symptoms that can include fatigue, headaches, joint pain, indigestion, insomnia, dizziness, respiratory disorders, and memory problems. The VA refers to these illnesses as "chronic multisymptom illness" and "undiagnosed illnesses." We prefer not to use the term “Gulf War Syndrome” when referring to medically unexplained symptoms reported by Gulf War Veterans. Why? Because symptoms vary widely. Learn more

 

CLINICAL TRIALS

Learn more about the Gulf War study

rTMS in Alleviating Pain and Co-Morbid Symptoms in Gulf War Veterans Illness (GWVI)

Headaches (HA), muscle and joint pain, are some of the most common debilitating symptoms in military personnel served in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War (GW1). Migraine like HA and diffuse body pain were detected in 64% of Gulf War Veteran (GWV) diagnosed with Gulf War Illness (GWI).

Likewise, depression carries a very high co-morbid rate (50%) in patients with chronic pain, and in GWV with GWI related chronic HA and body muscle and joint pain conditions (GWI-HAP). Unfortunately, conventional pharmacological treatments for GWI-related pain has not been shown to be effective and drugs such as narcotics contain many long term untoward psychosomatic and abusive side effects.

This study is assessing the effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), non-invasive treatment option, in alleviating pain and other co-morbid symptoms of GWI.

Veterans will receive either active or sham Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) - A non-invasive treatment that emits magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain to the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (LDLPFC) or the left motor cortex (LMC).

 

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation

What Happens During TMS

CLINICAL TRIALS

Learn more about the study

Headaches (HA), muscle and joint pain, are some of the most common debilitating symptoms in military personnel served in the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War (GW1). Migraine like HA and diffuse body pain were detected in 64% of Gulf War Veteran (GWV) diagnosed with Gulf War Illness (GWI).

Unfortunately, conventional pharmacological treatments for GWI-related pain has not been shown to be effective and drugs such as narcotics contain many long term untoward psychosomatic and abusive side effects.

This study is assessing the effectiveness of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS), non-invasive treatment option, in alleviating headaches, muscle, and joint pain symptoms of GWI.

Patients with headaches will receive either sham or active repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (rTMS) -  non-invasive treatment that emits magnetic pulses to stimulate the brain at the left motor cortex (LMC). 

Related Disorders

Chronic Fatigue & Myalgic encephalomyelitis & Long-COVID

Fibromyalgia & Related Disorders 

These include fibromyalgia syndrome, myalgic encephalomyelitis, neurasthenia, multiple chemical sensitivities, and chronic mononucleosis. Although these illnesses may present with a primary symptom other than fatigue, chronic fatigue is commonly associated with all of them.

Chronic Fatigue Related Disoders

Fibromyalgia is characterized by unexplained, widespread pain throughout the body, persisting longer than 3 months. There is no known direct cause or cure for fibromyalgia, but there are effective treatments to manage symptoms. Fibromyalgia has been linked to repetitive injuries, physical and emotional trauma, stress, and infections.