Maloney CS, Jensen S, Gil-Rivas V, Goolkasian P.
Deployment Processing Command-EAST, PCS Box 20086, Building 309, Camp Lejeune, NC 28542, United States; W.G. (Bill) Hefner VA Medical Center, 1601 Brenner Avenue, Salisbury, NC 28144, United States.
A latent viral immune inflammatory response (LVIIR) model is presented which integrates factors that contribute to chronic multisymptom illness (CMI) in both the veteran and civilian populations. The LVIIR model for CMI results from an integration of clinical experience with a review of the literature in four distinct areas: (1) studies of idiopathic multisymptom illness in the veteran population including two decades of research on Gulf War I veterans with CMI, (2) new evidence supporting the existence of chronic inflammatory responses to latent viral antigens and the effect these responses may have on the nervous system, (3) recent discoveries concerning the role of vitamin D in maintaining normal innate and adaptive immunity including suppression of latent viruses and regulation of the immune inflammatory response, and (4) the detrimental effects of extreme chronic repetitive stress (ECRS) on the immune and nervous systems. The LVIIR model describes the pathophysiology of a pathway to CMI and presents a new direction for the clinical assessment of CMI that includes the use of neurological signs from a physical exam, objective laboratory data, and a new proposed latent viral antigen-antibody imaging technique for the peripheral and central nervous system. The LVIIR model predicts that CMI can be treated by a focus on reversal of immune system impairment, suppression of latent viruses and their antigens, and healing of nervous system tissue damaged by chronic inflammation associated with latent viral antigens and by ECRS. In addition, the LVIIR model suggests that maintaining optimal serum 25 OH vitamin D levels will maximize immune system suppression of latent viruses and their antigens and will minimize immune system inflammation. This model also emphasizes the importance of decreasing ECRS to improve immune system function and to minimize nervous system injury from excess serum glucocorticoid levels. The proposed model supports growing evidence that increasing omega 3 essential fatty acid levels in nervous system tissues may decrease inflammation in the nervous system and improve neural plasticity and recovery from neuronal injury.