OCT 23, 2019 11:19 PM PDT

Treating Gulf-War Illness with Anti-Viral Drugs

WRITTEN BY: Nouran Amin

Researchers at the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health have reported that repurposing existing FDA-approved antiviral drugs offers an effective route for treating Gulf War Illness and the symptoms. These findings were published in the journal, Viruses.

Learn more about the Gulf-War Illness:

Early studies have reported that exposure to chemicals have determined that chemical exposure from the Gulf War affected the balance between naturally occurring viruses and bacteria of the human GI tract and that this alteration results in the Gulf War Illness. Many of the symptoms largely include gastrointestinal disturbances, chronic fatigue and headaches along with respiratory/sleep problems and neurological implications in memory and learning processes. The illness has affected more than 200,000 Persian Gulf veterans over the last 30 years.

"Our own viruses interact with bacteria in the gut to maintain a healthy body and mind," says Saurabh Chatterjee, associate professor of environmental health sciences and director of the Environmental Health & Disease Laboratory, who led the study. "If we can tweak our own host viruses and their interactions with gut bacteria, then we can treat the disease symptoms of Gulf War Illness. With our most recent research, we have shown that antiviral drugs that are already in use can be a great starting point for curing the disease and helping thousands of veterans improve their quality of life."

Utilizing existing antiviral drugs can make the process easier by allowing clinicians to begin testing FDA-approved medications in clinical evaluations at an accelerated pace versus the lengthy timeline commonly seen in traditional pharmaceutical drug trials.

Source: Science Daily

About the Author
  • Nouran earned her BS and MS in Biology at IUPUI and currently shares her love of science by teaching. She enjoys writing on various topics as well including science & medicine, global health, and conservation biology. She hopes through her writing she can make science more engaging and communicable to the general public.
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