Activity of Paraoxonase/Arylesterase and Butyrylcholinesterase in Peripheral Blood of Gulf War Era Veterans With Neurologic Symptom Complexes or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Two groups of Gulf War era veterans, one exhibiting blurred vision, balance problems/dizziness, tremors/shaking, and speech difficulty and a second group with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), but not the neurologic syndrome, were assessed for organophosphate-detoxifying enzyme paraoxonase/arylesterase (PON1) and its Q/R isoforms, butyrylcholinesterase (BuChE) and its U/A isoforms and cytokines.


Defibrinated peripheral blood was evaluated for enzymes and cytokines.


Trends toward elevation of Th2 cytokines interleukin-4 (IL-4) and IL-13 were observed in subjects with neurologic syndrome. Neither the activities nor isoforms of the enzyme, the neurologic symptoms, nor PTSD had any relationship to wartime deployment to the theater of combat.


The negative outcomes described above suggest that exposure to organophosphates or other agents normally detoxified by PON1 and BuChE may not have contributed significantly to neurologic components of Gulf War Illness.

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