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Regular exercise and group therapy can alleviate symptoms of Gulf War veterans? illnesses, according to findings reported at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in October 2002. A total of 1092 veterans were randomized to receive 3 months of standard care, low-impact exercise 3 to 4 times a week, weekly group sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), or both exercise and CBT.
After 1 year, the exercise-alone and the exercise-plus-CBT groups showed highly significant improvements in fatigue, distress, mental health function, and the ability to think and understand. Participants in the CBT-alone group showed improvements in mental health function and the ability to think and understand.