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War Related Illness and Injury Study Center

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Volunteer for Research at NJ WRIISC

 

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Featured Study

Currently, the WRIISC has several important research studies for Veterans of the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, as well as other studies that are not deployment specific. These studies focus on airborne exposures, cognitive fatigue, physical fatigue, mild traumatic brain injury, among others. For more information on research studies at the WRIISC, please call 1-800-248-8005 and ask to speak to a Research Assistant.

Open to Gulf War Veterans

Gulf War StudiesIt has been 25 years and many Veterans who deployed to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm are still suffering from Gulf War Illness. There is a need to better understand Gulf War Illness and how to best treat it.

The Veterans Affairs War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC) is focused on addressing Gulf War Illness. Our goal is to understand what might be underlying the symptoms as well as developing and testing treatments that will help those suffering from Gulf War Illness.

To help achieve this goal, we are currently performing several research studies at the WRIISC and are partnering with top scientists from many institutions including Johns Hopkins and Harvard.

How can you help?

Become familiar with the research we are conducting. If you are a Veteran of Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, we need your help as a volunteer to be part of research. We need both Veterans who are suffering with Gulf War Illness as well as those who do not have Gulf War Illness. We are asking for the help of all Gulf War Veterans.

For more information about these studies, please contact us at 1-800-248-8005.

  • Cognitive Rehabilitation for Gulf War Illness

    Principal Investigator: Lisa McAndrew, PhD

    Description of study purpose and goals: Clinical Trial Study for Gulf War Veterans. Did you deploy to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm? Do you have muscle pain, fatigue, trouble with concentration or memory? We are seeking Gulf War Veterans with symptoms of Gulf War Illness. If you qualify and choose to participate, you will receive 12 weeks of telephone-delivered Problem-Solving Treatment or Health Education.

    Who can take part?: Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield Veterans who have symptoms of Gulf War Illness.

    To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "PST Study."

  • Development of Dietary Polyphenol Preparations for Treating Veterans with Gulf War Illness (GWI)

    Principal Investigator: Drew Helmer, MD, MS

    Description of study purpose and goals: Randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled study for Gulf War Veterans. Did you deploy to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm? Do you have muscle pain, fatigue, trouble with concentration or memory? We are seeking Gulf War Veterans with symptoms of Gulf War Illness. If you are found eligible and choose to participate, you will be enrolled in a 24 week experiment testing the potential efficacy of daily Concord grape juice consumption in alleviating clinical complications in Veterans with GWI. Subjects will be asked to make biweekly visits to fill out short surveys and restock on grape juice, in addition to three longer survey sessions occurring at the baseline, midpoint, and conclusion of the experiment. Subjects will receive compensation after each visit.

    Who can take part?: Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield Veterans deployed to the Persian Gulf theatre between August 1990 and August 1991 who have symptoms of Gulf War Illness

    To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "Grape Juice Study."

  • Gulf War Insomnia Study

    Principal Investigator: Anays Sotolongo, MD

    Description of study purpose and goals: Randomized, parallel group study for Gulf War Veterans experiencing insomnia to compare the efficacy of Cognitive Therapy and Sleep Restriction Therapy in treating insomnia in Gulf War Veterans.

    Who can take part?: Gulf War Veterans who have had difficulty sleeping, or insomnia, for at least 3 months, and who are interested in participating in the VA’s CBT-I (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia) Program. If you are found eligible and choose to participate, you will be enrolled in an experiment comparing the efficacy of Cognitive Therapy and Sleep Restriction Therapy in treating insomnia in Gulf War Veterans. Participants will undergo an initial screening procedure, 6 treatment visits, and 1 follow up visit over 32 weeks, and you will receive compensation after each visit.

    To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "Gulf War Insomnia Study."

  • Mitochondrial Dysfunction and Gulf War Illness

    Principal Investigator: Michael J. Falvo, PhD

    Description of study purpose and goals: The purpose of the study is to test that mitochondrial dysfunction is an important contributor to Gulf War Illness (GWI) in Gulf War Veterans (GVs) compared to Veterans without GWI. GWI symptoms vary from fatigue and pain to cognitive dysfunction and sleep disturbances, but are difficult to measure. We will use blood samples to study part of a cell in the body that helps produce energy (called mitochondria). This study will try to determine whether these cells are damaged, how well they function, and how they correspond to symptoms.

    Who can take part?: Operation Desert Shield/Storm Veterans and Veterans enlisted but not deployed between 1989 and 1994.

    Flyer.

    To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "Mitochondria Study."

  • Post-Exertional Malaise in Gulf War Illness: Brain, Autonomic and Behavioral Interactions

    Principal Investigator: Michael J. Falvo, PhD

    Description of study purpose and goals: Gulf War Veterans with Gulf War Illness commonly report symptoms that span several different body systems. These symptoms, especially fatigue, tend to be made worse after exercise or strenuous physical activity. The goal of this study is to understand the source of symptoms in those different body systems. This study involves brain imaging (MRI) and ultrasound techniques to examine different aspects of a Veteran’s nervous and immune systems and how their functions are affected by exercise.

    Who can take part?: Operation Desert Shield/Storm Veterans and Veterans enlisted but not deployed between 1989 and 1994.

    Flyer.

    To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "GWI Brain Study."

  • Vagus Nerve Stimulation: A Non-Invasive Treatment to Improve the Health of Gulf Veterans with Gulf War Illness

    Principal Investigator: Drew Helmer, MD, MS

    Description of study purpose and goals:This study tests a new method of treating widespread pain in Gulf Veterans with Gulf War Illness. We are studying the effect of a hand-held device that activates a nerve located in the neck called the vagus nerve. The study will determine if the use of an active device reduces widespread pain versus the use of an inactive device (placebo).

    The study is being conducted at two sites:

    • WRIISC in East Orange, NJ-1 visit
    • Mount Sinai Beth Israel in midtown Manhattan – 3 visits

    Veterans who are interested and eligible will answer questionnaires, have a brief physical exam/medical evaluation, and be trained on the device. During the blinded phase of the study, the veteran will use the assigned device for 10 weeks and fill out their daily pain diary. During those ten weeks, they will answer a few brief questions about their pain over the phone. During the unblinded phase, veterans will return their assigned device and be given an active device to use for an additional 10 weeks. (Those who were initially assigned an active device will be using the an active device for 20 weeks. Those who were given the inactive device will be using the active device for 10 weeks.) During that time, veterans will complete their daily pain diary and answer periodic phone calls assessing their pain.

    Mount Sinai will be providing compensation each time they come in for a face to face study visit for travel (up to $50, veteran must bring in receipts) and an additional $60 for their time and participation.

    Who can take part?: Gulf War Veterans (1990-1991 Gulf War) with Gulf War Illness and Widespread Pain, ages 42 and up.

    To participate: Call 1-800-248-8005 or Email: wriisc.nj@va.gov and ask for the "VNS Study."

  • WRIISC as a Model of Care for Chronic Multi-Symptom Illness (NJ, DC, CA)

    Principal Investigators: Lisa McAndrew, PhD & Drew Helmer, MD, MS

    Description of study purpose and goals: Many Gulf War Veterans experience problems with fatigue, trouble concentrating, and muscle/joint pain (also known as Gulf War Illness). We are conducting a study to learn how health care providers and Gulf War Veterans think and talk about Gulf War Illness. We are seeking Veterans who served in the Gulf War and who have an upcoming appointment with a health care provider at the primary care clinic or at the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center (WRIISC). Up to 300 Gulf War Veterans will participate in the study across these three sites. If you qualify and choose to take part in the study, you will be asked to complete questionnaires before and after one of your upcoming medical appointments. With your permission and the permission of your provider, that appointment will be audio-recorded. The recording may be stopped at any time during the visit. You will also complete questionnaire packets 4 weeks, 1 month, and 6 months after your medical appointment. Compensation will be provided for completion of study visits and surveys.

    Who can take part?: Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield Veterans who have symptoms of Gulf War Illness

    Flyer.

    To participate: Contact the WRIISC and ask about the "Communication Study" at one of the three WRIISC sites:

    • NJ WRIISC at the VA New Jersey Health Care System: 1-800-248-8005
    • CA WRIISC at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System: 1-888-482-4376
    • DC WRIISC at the Washington, DC VA Medical Center: 1-800-722-8340