study, "Organophosphate-Related Alterations in Myelin and Axonal Transport in the Living Mammalian Brain," was funded with FY11 GWI CDMRP funds.
At the end of an arduous sifting and winnowing process, the well qualified proposals that made it to the final stage of evaluation totalled nearly $31 million.
With just a Congressional appropriation of just $8 million, only six were able to be funded, including Dr. Terry's
important study that, if successful, will help identify specific targets for treatment.
Dr. Alvin Terry, a professor at GHSU, and his colleague, Dr. Nathan Yanasak, are conducting a three-year study on the neurological symptoms of Gulf War illness. JACKIE RICCIARDI/STAFF
Dr. Alvin Terry, a professor at GHSU, and his colleague, Dr. Nathan Yanasak, are conducting a three-year study on the neurological symptoms of Gulf War illness.
Troops were also routinely exposed to the chemical in insecticides, said Dr. Alvin Terry, the director of the Animal Behavior Center at GHSU and professor of pharmacology and toxicology.
and a colleague, Dr. Nathan Yanasak, have an $860,000, three-year grant from the DOD
to study whether the chemicals can cause nerve damage in the brains of animals - in this case, mice - that could lead to memory and attention problems.
"For it to maintain its health, it has to be able to transport things" along the axon of the nerve, Terry
The researchers are using newer technology, such as manganese-enhanced MRI, to study that because manganese is known to be taken up and transported by nerves in the brain, he
Researchers will also check whether the protective sheath of the nerve cells, known as myelin, is depleted by the low-level exposure, which can affect nerve firing.
"It's probably subtle if it is there," Terry
In previous work, including a study published this year, Terry
and colleagues showed that "subthreshold" doses of the chemical caused memory and attention problems in rats even months later.
"Long after they have been exposed, you can still pick up on these memory deficits," he
What makes that intriguing is that it is similar to problems that plague veterans with Gulf War illness, Terry
The study in animals is is being done to find out whether that is the cause of the symptoms, which could stem from a number of other causes, such as the oil well fires that raged during the conflict and had wide exposure, Terry
"There's a whole multitude of things that you could say might be a possibility," he
has funded research over the years into what might cause Gulf War illness, "but no one has really solved it.
There have been a lot of controversies."
work has drawn some fire from chemical companies, but Terry
strives for balance in his
view of the chemicals.
"They have without a doubt dramatically improved farming productivity, and they have helped to get rid of vector-bone illnesses," he