The Gulf War syndrome represents neurological and neuropsychological disorders in veterans of the Persian Gulf war. Until today, the various symptoms observed could not be attributed to any defined disease. As a possible cause, exposure to neurotoxic agents such as the organophosphates used during the war has been suggested by many authors. We report on a 29-year-old man who suffered from dysmnesia, disturbance of orientation, cognitive impairment, and double vision. His history revealed several front-line operations in 1990 and 1991 during the Gulf War. Physical examinations showed a complex eye-movement disturbance and a horizontal nystagmus, which was neuro-ophthalmologically confirmed. The early auditory potentials referred to a brainstem dysfunction and the cognitive disturbances correlated to changes in the late-appearing component of event-related potentials (P 300). Brain imaging with CCT, MRI, SPECT, PET, and EEG and CSF showed no pathologies. Neuropsychological tests disclosed severe cognitive impairment especially concerning memory. Three-month follow-up studies in a department of psychosomatic medicine excluded a dissociative disorder as a feature of a post-traumatic stress or a conversion disorder. This is the first case of Gulf War syndrome in Germany. We focus on an unfamiliar complication after the war. The recent literature is reviewed.
PMID: 11478226 [PubMed - in process]