Narrator: This is Science Today. The United States has spent over 200 million dollars to find the cause of Gulf War Illness, which is marked by common symptoms including fatigue, muscle aches and some memory lapse. Dr. Michael Weiner of the University of California, San Francisco, who is studying Gulf War Illness, says one of the problems with the syndrome is there's no test for it.
Weiner: There's no specific way to diagnose it. And there have been a number of different biological findings, but none of them has really been consistent, so there's no diagnostic marker. The only way to identify somebody as having Gulf War Illness is by asking them questions and their giving symptoms of fatigue, tiredness, muscle aches and pains …so forth.
Narrator: Recently, there have been studies indicating Gulf War veterans are twice as likely to develop Lou Gehrig's disease, or ALS, which is a neurological condition that destroys brain cells and muscle movement. But the actual data proving this is very limited.
Weiner: We will look in the regions that are affected by ALS and see whether those regions are associated with the Gulf War symptoms.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.