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A Detoxification Intervention for Gulf War Illness: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial

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Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON M5G 1V7, Canada
2
Department of Psychology, The Sage Colleges, Troy, NY 12180, USA
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Institute for Health and the Environment, University at Albany, Albany, NY 12144, USA
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Applied Health Research Centre, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, ON M5G 1B1, Canada
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Trillium Gift of Life Network, Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Toronto, ON M5G 2C9, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(21), 4143; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214143
Received: 9 September 2019 / Revised: 20 October 2019 / Accepted: 21 October 2019 / Published: 28 October 2019
Approximately 30% of the 700,000 US veterans of the 1990–1991 Persian Gulf War developed multiple persistent symptoms called Gulf War illness. While the etiology is uncertain, several toxic exposures including pesticides and chemical warfare agents have shown associations. There is no effective medical treatment. An intervention to enhance detoxification developed by Hubbard has improved quality of life and/or reduced body burdens in other cohorts. We evaluated its feasibility and efficacy in ill Gulf War (GW) veterans in a randomized, waitlist-controlled, pilot study at a community-based rehabilitation facility in the United States. Eligible participants (n = 32) were randomly assigned to the intervention (n = 22) or a four-week waitlist control (n = 10). The daily 4–6 week intervention consisted of exercise, sauna-induced sweating, crystalline nicotinic acid and other supplements. Primary outcomes included recruitment, retention and safety; and efficacy was measured via Veteran’s Short Form-36 (SF-36) quality of life, McGill pain, multidimensional fatigue inventory questionnaires and neuropsychological batteries. Scoring of outcomes was blinded. All 32 completed the trial and 21 completed 3-month follow-up. Mean SF-36 physical component summary score after the intervention was 6.9 (95% CI; −0.3, 14.2) points higher compared to waitlist control and 11 of 16 quality of life, pain and fatigue measures improved, with no serious adverse events. Most improvements were retained after 3 months. The Hubbard regimen was feasible, safe and might offer relief for symptoms of GW illness. View Full-Text
Keywords: Gulf War illness; pesticides; organophosphates; chemical warfare agents; exposure; exposome; Hubbard; sauna; detoxification; nicotinic acid; Veteran’s SF-36 Gulf War illness; pesticides; organophosphates; chemical warfare agents; exposure; exposome; Hubbard; sauna; detoxification; nicotinic acid; Veteran’s SF-36
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MDPI and ACS Style

Kerr, K.; Morse, G.; Graves, D.; Zuo, F.; Lipowicz, A.; Carpenter, D.O. A Detoxification Intervention for Gulf War Illness: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 4143. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214143

AMA Style

Kerr K, Morse G, Graves D, Zuo F, Lipowicz A, Carpenter DO. A Detoxification Intervention for Gulf War Illness: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2019; 16(21):4143. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214143

Chicago/Turabian Style

Kerr, Kathleen, Gayle Morse, Donald Graves, Fei Zuo, Alain Lipowicz, and David O. Carpenter 2019. "A Detoxification Intervention for Gulf War Illness: A Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, no. 21: 4143. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16214143

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