The symptoms of Gulf War syndrome are compatible with the hypothesis
that the immune system of affected individuals is biased
towards a Th2-cytokine pattern. Factors that could lead to a
Th2 shift among Gulf War veterans include exposure to multiple
Th2-inducing vaccinations under stressful circumstances and
the way in which such vaccinations were administered, which
would be expected to maximise Th2 immunogenicity.
These factors may have led to a long-term systemic shift towards
a Th2-cytokine balance and to mood changes related to the
immunoendocrine state. Other vaccines that lead to similar
long-term, non-specific shifts in cytokine balance are
well-established. If our hypothesis is proven, treatment may
be possible with regimens that induce a systemic Th1 bias.