The aim of the study is to investigate relationships between inflammatory analytes and symptoms of pain and fatigue in Gulf War illness (GWI).
In this preliminary study, 12 male veterans meeting GWI criteria provided daily blood samples and symptom ratings over 25 days. Linear mixed models were used to analyze associations between symptoms and sera concentrations of cytokines, acute phase proteins, insulin, and brain-derived neurotropic factor.
Analyses included 277 days with both blood draws and self-reports. Days with worse fatigue severity were associated with higher C-reactive protein and serum amyloid A, and lower eotaxin 1. Muscle pain and joint pain were associated with leptin, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, and interferon γ–induced protein. Joint pain was further associated with serum amyloid A and eotaxin 3.
Gulf War illness involves fatigue and pain associated with inflammation. Conventional and novel anti-inflammatories should be further explored for the treatment of GWI.