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Salt Lake Medical Center to research Gulf War veteran health problems

Fatigue, weakness, sleep disturbances, persistent headaches, skin rashes and respiratory problems — ailments associated with veterans who served in the Gulf War — will be the subject of a three-year research program at the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Funding for the Salt Lake project is part of a larger Gulf War veterans' illnesses research initiative involving 11 other projects at VA medical centers around the country. It was recently approved and will begin in January. Total three-year funding for the dozen research programs is estimated at $5.2 million.

Initial funding of $217,000 will pay for the first year for study of certain bacteria found in Gulf War veterans suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Study will also encompass antibiotics to treat the ailment.

"The Salt Lake City VA Medical Center plays an important role in continuing to address the unique health care needs of our Gulf War veterans," said R. James Nicholson, secretary of veterans affairs. "This research should lead to better health care for veterans suffering from a variety of conditions."