Gulf War Illness (GWI) is a chronic multisystem disorder afflicting over a third of the First Gulf War Veterans. GWI is characterized by multiple, diverse symptoms that typically include chronic headache, widespread pain, cognitive difficulties, debilitating fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory symptoms, sleep problems, and other abnormalities that could not be explained by established medical diagnoses or standard laboratory tests.
Dr. Laxmikant Deshpande recently received a grant from the Department of Defense (DOD) to study the role of BDNF (Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor) signaling in GWI and test whether treatment with carvedilol could help alleviate neurological symptoms of GWI in a rat model. Dr. Deshpande's research program aims to understand molecular mechanisms for GWI development and use this knowledge to identify effective treatments for GWI. The DOD has continually funded GWI research in his lab since 2014.