Thursday, June 9, 2016

Lack of baseline data has hindered research

Is Agent Orange responsible for disease and birth defects in the children of Vietnam War veterans?
For Stefanie Wilderdyke of Adel, Iowa, the answer seems obvious. She and her sister have suffered a staggering array of health problems — lupus, fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s disease (which causes numbness and coldness in the extremities), Sjogren’s syndrome (an immune system disorder), hypothyroidism and endometriosis.
“My sister and I always wondered, with our dad having served in Vietnam, why is this happening?” she said.
But for scientists, the answer is: We don’t know.
In part that’s because there hasn’t been much research into what are called “paternally mediated” birth defects. But scientists also say it’s hard to determine the effects of Agent Orange exposure.

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