Study Links Drug Injuries in Veterans to Genetic Variables

Soldiers are often required to take medications before deploying to protect them from chemical or biological weapons. However, studies are beginning to link these medications with serious adverse side effects.

One such study has found an association between the genetic makeups of soldiers who took anti-nerve gas pills during Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm and an increased risk of a drug injury known as Gulf War Illness.

A team of scientists from Baylor University examined the genetic makeups and medical histories of 304 veterans. A total of 144 of those individuals had developed symptoms of Gulf War Illness, while 160 showed no signs of the disease. According to the Military Times, researchers were able to determine if soldiers who developed symptoms of the disease had a genetic variant that the others did not.

Those who developed the disease had a lower active amount of an enzyme known as butyrylcholinesterase in their bodies. The enzyme is capable of breaking down toxic substances in the anti-nerve gas medications veterans were given during service.

The group concluded those who took anti-nerve gas medications and who have lower butyrylcholinesterase counts are more likely to develop Gulf War Illness.

At Rainwater, Holt & Sexton, we know how difficult it can be to overcome drug injuries. That’s why our Little Rock personal injury lawyers encourage all veterans suffering from Gulf War Illness to consider discussing their legal rights with a qualified attorney as soon as possible.

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