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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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Project IN-DEPTH

Project IN-DEPTH

VA-NIH Investigative Deep Phenotyping (IN-DEPTH) of 1990-1991 Gulf War Veteran Health

A new approach through a unique and historic collaboration

Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke launched a first-of-its-kind collaboration to gain more insight into the causes of Gulf War Illness (GWI). GWI is known to affect as many as one-third of the 700,000 U.S. troops deployed who served in Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm (ODS/S, deployed August 1990 – June 1991).

Map of Gulf War region

The purpose of Project IN-DEPTH is to understand why many 1990-1991 Gulf War Veterans are sick and how we can help improve their health. The goal of this partnership is to:

  • Provide an improved understanding of GWI pathobiology. With this study, there is potential to

    1. Advance GWI diagnosis and case definition

    2. Provide insight into the biological and molecular signatures of GWI

    3. Identify potential treatment targets for GWI

    4. Offer a new direction for future GWI research

  • Establish infrastructure and agreements with the NIH that will help build models of investigation that are new to the VA

    1. Data sharing with the NIH enables investigations of populations that experience similar symptoms as GWI but have a different diagnosis (such as chronic fatigue syndrome, post-COVID-19 and healthy civilians who are enrolled in other NIH studies). This may improve understanding of what makes people sick for years after an incident such as infection or military exposure.

  • Create a repository for biological samples and data for validation and future studies

    1. Generate platforms and procedures for collaboration with the objective to improve patient outcomes, overall health, and quality of life

For more information about project IN-DEPTH please email us.