After Years of Denial, the Pentagon Admits That Service in the Gulf War Is Linked to Lougehrig's Disease

December 12, 2001

After years of denying any link between illness and service in the Persian Gulf War, military officials said thisweek that Gulf War Vets were nearly twice as likely to suffer from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or LouGehrig’s disease, as other soldiers.

So far, at least 40 veterans have been diagnosed with the disease, which causes severe muscle wasting and istypically fatal in two to five years.

The Department of Veterans Affairs said it would immediately offer disability and survivor benefits to veterans withthe disease who served in the Persian Gulf War. But the admission that service in the Gulf has been linked to ALShas only raised more questions for the more than 100,000 Gulf War vets whose illnesses have yet to be diagnosed oreven acknowledged by the U.S. government.


  • Steve Robinson, Executive Director, National Gulf War Resource Center.
  • Tom Donnelly, father of Michael Donnelly, a Gulf War Fighter Pilot

Related link: