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MS and Veterans of the Gulf War

The Gulf War era multiple sclerosis cohort: age and incidence rates by race, sex and service

This paper introduces a new large demographically diverse military multiple sclerosis (MS) cohort of Vetearns from the Gulf War era (1990-2007). These incident MS cases were identified and assembled similar to other previous military cohorts from World War II, the Korean Coflict and the Vietnam-era. With accurate denominator data from the entire active duty military population, our MSCoE group was able to calculate incidence of MS by sex and race groups. Key findings were that African Americans had the highest MS incidence rates compared with Whites, Hispanics, Asian/Pacific Islanders and Native Americans/Pacific Islanders. Marines had the lowest MS incidence rate compared with other service branches. The Gulf War MS cohort will be an important resource for further studies of MS risk factors for onset and progression.

The Gulf War era multiple sclerosis cohort: age and incidence rates by race, sex and service

Mitch Wallin

Dr. Wallin is Clinical Associate Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Excellence based in Baltimore VA Medical Center/University of Maryland. His clinical responsibilities are focused as an attending neurologist at the VA Medical Center-Washington, DC and the national VA MS network with academic appointments as Associate Professor of Neurology at Georgetown University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Dr. Wallin is a member of the North American Cysticercosis Consortium and a Neurological Consultant at NIAID/NIH. His research interests include neuroepidemiology, multiple sclerosis and neurological infections. Dr. Wallin received the 2010 Wolcott National Award for Clinical Leadership, the highest prize within the VA system.


Mitch Wallin

RADM John F. Kurtzke, MD, FACP, FAAN Dr. Kurtzke, RADM, Medical Corps, U.S. Navy Reserve, retired, is Distinguished Professor of Neurology at the Uniformed Services University and Professor Emeritus at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Dr. Kurtzke is among the premier neuroepidemiologists of the 20th Century, known especially for his work on multiple sclerosis, and as the author of the Kurtzke Scale used to measure the degree of disability in patients with multiple sclerosis. He has over 500 publications, and has received numerous awards, including two awards of the Legion of Merit from the Navy, the Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary's Distinguished Career Award after 39 years of service, the Charcot Award from the International Federation of Multiple Sclerosis Societies, the Lifetime Acheivement Award from the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers, and the John Jay Dystel Prize for Multiple Sclerosis Research from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the American Academy of Neurology.

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