Mount Sinai Beth Israel receives US Army grant to study Gulf War illness treatment

15 November 2016 (Last Updated November 15th, 2016 18:30)

Mount Sinai Beth Israel has received a US Army Medical Research grant to evaluate gammaCore, a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) treatment for Gulf War illness.

Mount Sinai Beth Israel has received a US Army Medical Research grant to evaluate gammaCore, a non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS) treatment for Gulf War illness.

The $703,272 grant will fund the study, which involves more than 40 veterans suffering from widespread pain and migraines.

Mount Sinai Beth Israel Pain & Fatigue Study Center head Dr. Benjamin Natelson said: “While pharmaceutical treatments are available for the treatment of Gulf War illness, they have drawbacks.

"While pharmaceutical treatments are available for the treatment of Gulf War illness, they have drawbacks."

“These drugs don’t work for all patients, the effect frequently only lasts a couple of months and the side effects are often so severe as to preclude their use so there is a real need for further research into treatment of this debilitating condition”

Phase I of the study will see veterans being assessed for body-wide pain and headaches.

During Phase II, half of the veterans will be given an active gammaCore nVNS device, while the remainder will be given an inactive device.

The veterans will use these devices three times a day for ten weeks, while undergoing periodic assessments of the severity of their symptoms.

Upon completion of the randomised phase, all veterans will receive active gammaCore devices to use for a further ten weeks in an open label phase.

The 20-week study will allow investigators to assess the effectiveness of nVNS therapy in relieving pain and headaches.