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green

Mestinon and Gulf War Syndrome

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Has anyone else read about the connection between mestinon and gulf war syndrome?

Apparently, people with a certain genetic disposition are thought to be sensitive to possible interactions between mestinon and pesticides (like DEET). The issue is that troops were given mestinon to protect them against nerve gases like sarin during the Gulf War. At the time, they thought that the Iraqis might use sarin against the troops. 

The idea seems to be that Gulf War Syndrome was caused by three things:

 (1) A less active genetic variant of the enzyme butyrylcholinesterase  . 

(2) Exposure to pesticides or nerve agents.

(3) Taking mestinon (they took 30 mg. every 8 hours for up to 21 days, so said a different site I found)

https://www.militarytimes.com/veterans/2015/01/27/study-links-genetics-anti-nerve-agent-pills-to-gulf-war-illness/

This seems bad, especially because another article I found says this:

In Britain, soldiers given the nerve-gas pill but not sent to the Gulf complained of suffering from the illness. The MoD said British troops had been given the same pills as their American counterparts. But a spokesman added that UK personnel had not been exposed to pesticides containing neurotoxins. (emphasis added)

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/pills-blamed-for-gulf-war-syndrome-1023096.html

So maybe all you need is (1) and (3)! That could be any of us! Does anyone think I am missing something here?

 

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My only comment is hindsight is 20/20. During that time they used what they thought would work. Same for dysautonomia. They prescribe what they think will work. In 20 years to front line treatment may be different and we will know that we really shouldn't have done something even though it seemed like a good idea at the time. 

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>My only comment is hindsight is 20/20. During that time they used what they thought would work. Same for dysautonomia. They prescribe what they think will work. In 20 years to front line treatment may be different and we will know that we really shouldn't have done something even though it seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Sure, StayAtHomeMom, I agree that it is often only possible to determine that a chemical has certain negative effects for a subgroup of the population long AFTER it has been administered to a large and highly representative sample of the overall population . BUT,.... we now know all this stuff... so why not test patients for the genetic predisposition BEFORE giving them mestinon?

 

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29 minutes ago, green said:

>My only comment is hindsight is 20/20. During that time they used what they thought would work. Same for dysautonomia. They prescribe what they think will work. In 20 years to front line treatment may be different and we will know that we really shouldn't have done something even though it seemed like a good idea at the time. 

Sure, StayAtHomeMom, I agree that it is often only possible to determine that a chemical has certain negative effects for a subgroup of the population long AFTER it has been administered to a large and highly representative sample of the overall population . BUT,.... we now know all this stuff... so why not test patients for the genetic predisposition BEFORE giving them mestinon?

 

Because it cost money to run those tests, and insurance doesn't want to pay it. Especially if it is something that would only happen to a small percentage of people. 

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But up to 25% of the troops deployed to Iraq in 1991 reported Gulf War syndrome. That is not so rare! 

I thnk I'm going to stop taking mestinon and do a genetic test for myself. I can look up this enzyme and maybe figure out how to evaluate a genetic test to find out if I have the less active variant of butyrylcholinesterase.

 

 

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1 hour ago, green said:

But up to 25% of the troops deployed to Iraq in 1991 reported Gulf War syndrome. That is not so rare! 

I thnk I'm going to stop taking mestinon and do a genetic test for myself. I can look up this enzyme and maybe figure out how to evaluate a genetic test to find out if I have the less active variant of butyrylcholinesterase.

 

 

I was actually thinking of doing the 23and me or ancestry.com testing. I was reading an article about this guy who was actually progressively getting sicker. He was given the DNA testing as a gift. Turns out he had some genetic marker and the company wrote back to him and said he was high risk for a certain disease. Turns out the doctors tested him and he had it. That story has always stuck with me and I am thinking about doing it. Plus finding out specific percentages of my ethnicity would be kind of cool. Especially since my dad is a genealogy nut. 

Have you talked to your doctor about the medication?

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Yes, I am familiar with this. I also just took my first Mestinon 60mg pill about an hour ago after waiting a while to determine if I should take it and what my options are. I don't notice anything so far.

Before I learned of Mestinon I already knew I was very sensitive to choline esterase inhibators found in plants and later found this website: https://sites.google.com/site/annerwright/cholinesterase-inhibitors

This made me think that taking Mestinon would be wrong because that is what Mestinon does!

Whenever I took these plants it would make me feel very stimulated, anxious and felt like I took caffeine, which I don't drink. So, I assumed that is what Mestinon would do. This prescription also says to take 60mg 4 times a day.

But, I talked over with the dysautonomia specialist and he pretty much says we need to see what happens. So, in a sense, these treatments are a bit like tests. That can get bad if one is experimenting with something that has risks though.

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