Galantamine and Gulf War Syndrome

Q While searching the Web, I happened across a document produced by the Rand Corporation and sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense for presumed Congressional testimony on the Gulf War syndrome. In this lengthy document, billed as "A Review of the Scientific Literature as it Pertains to Gulf War Illnesses," author Beatrice Alexandra Golomb mentions the "galanthamine binding site" as a common source of damage in the syndrome.

Occupied variously by pyridostigmine bromide, a drug used during the Gulf War to protect against the nerve agent soman, and possibly damaged as well by other nerve agents of war, including an inadvertent assault by pesticide wrist and ankle bracelets worn by combatants, the thesis put forward seems to imply that damage to the galanthamine [galantamine] binding site may have resulted in much of what we know as Gulf War syndrome. If this is so, wouldn't a galantamine supplement be helpful?

Henry, Washington, DC

A It is not possible to say if galantamine could be helpful, and to the best of our knowledge, no study has ever been done testing this hypothesis. This is unfortunate, because there are many tens of thousands of veterans suffering from some aspect of the syndrome. Nor have we received any feedback from Gulf War vets, and of course, there's a great likelihood that United States armed forces will soon be so engaged again. If there's anyone out there suffering from the syndrome who has tried galantamine, would you please contact us.

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