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By Kelly Kennedy - USA Today
Posted : Monday Dec 19, 2011 9:44:26 EST

WASHINGTON — Congress has approved dedicating $10 million to research the mysterious Gulf War illness. The move ends concerns from veterans’ groups that the money would disappear because of budget problems.

The spending bill passed by the Senate on Saturday and signed by President Obama includes the money for specific research into the series of ailments suffered by veterans of the Persian Gulf War. Originally, money for the research would have to come from a larger pot of money that could have been spent on other work besides studying Gulf War illness.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, led House efforts to restore the money. He told USA Today that sick veterans had called from their beds to ask members of Congress to approve the funding.

“When one out of three who served is affected, and when some veterans’ maladies are turning into long-term health problems like ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig’s disease), and when researchers are getting closer every single year to finding a treatment with this program, there is an urgency,” Kucinich said. “It’s comparatively little money that is doing an extraordinary amount of good and is the best hope we have for them.”

About one in four Gulf War veterans have developed chronic headaches, widespread pain, memory and concentration problems, persistent fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, skin abnormalities and mood disturbances, said Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who also pushed for the funding.
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