FMRI reveals abnormal central processing of sensory and pain stimuli in ill Gulf War veterans

Kaundinya Gopinath, Parina Gandhi, Aman Goyal, Lei Jiang, Yan Fang, Luo Ouyang, Sandeepkumar Ganji, David Buhner, Wendy Ringe, Jeffrey Spence, Melanie Biggs, Richard Briggs, Robert Haley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Many veterans chronically ill from the 1991 Gulf War exhibit symptoms of altered sensation, including chronic pain. In this study of 55 veterans of a Construction Battalion previously examined in 1995-1996 and 1997-1998, brain activation to innocuous and noxious heat stimuli was assessed in 2008-2009 with a quantitative sensory testing fMRI protocol in control veterans and groups representing three syndrome variants. Testing outside the scanner revealed no significant differences in warm detection or heat pain threshold among the four groups. In the fMRI study, Syndrome 1 and Syndrome 2, but not Syndrome 3, exhibited hypo-activation to innocuous heat and hyper-activation to noxious heat stimuli compared to controls. The results indicate abnormal central processing of sensory and painful stimuli in 2 of 3 variants of Gulf War illness and call for a more comprehensive study with a larger, representative sample of veterans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-271
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Brain diseases
  • Functional MRI
  • Gulf War illness
  • Innocuous heat
  • Neuroimaging
  • Noxious heat
  • Pain
  • Sensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Toxicology


Dive into the research topics of 'FMRI reveals abnormal central processing of sensory and pain stimuli in ill Gulf War veterans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this