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Med Hypotheses. 2013 Dec;81(6):1002-3. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.09.014. Epub 2013 Sep 17.

Gulf War illnesses are autoimmune illnesses caused by increased activity of the p38/MAPK pathway in CD4+ immune system cells, which was caused by nerve agent prophylaxis and adrenergic load.

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Sodium chloride intake might increase the risk for the development of autoimmune diseases by increasing the activity of the p38/MAPK pathway in CD4+ cells thereby producing pathogenic TH17 cells which are inflammatory. Two factors (muscarinic and beta adrenergic stimulation), already shown to potentiate each other's toxic effects in whole mice, and have combined amplified sub lethal effects on mouse T cells, can have the same effect on CD4+ signaling pathways as sodium chloride. Sick 1991 Gulf War veterans express elevated Th17 cytokine activity, and therefore may have autoimmune illnesses caused directly by the above mentioned exposures.

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