The symptoms and psychiatric status of the Bijlmermeer Plane Crash Disaster: similarities with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Gulf War Syndrome

van Hoof, Elke, De Meirleir, Kenny, Cluydts, Raymond, and Coomans, Danny (2003) The symptoms and psychiatric status of the Bijlmermeer Plane Crash Disaster: similarities with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Gulf War Syndrome. Journal of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, 11 (3). pp. 3-22.

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Abstract

On October 4, 1992, the El Al Boeing crashed in the residential quarter 'Bijlmermeer' in Amsterdam (The Netherlands). In the years after the plane crash, local residents and assistance personnel began reporting a variety of unusual symptoms not unlike those reported by patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) and Gulf War Syndrome (GWS). The aim of this study was to define the symptom constellations reported by the patients and assess the possible causes of the illness. Standardized psychological questionnaires (MMPI-II, SCL-90, KPS and a complaints checklist) were used to screen for psychological changes and to describe the symptoms reported by the patients. Differences between local residents and assistance personnel, gender differences, Mycoplasma-infected and Mycoplasma non-infected patients were monitored. The major symptoms reported were extreme fatigue, non-restorative sleep, concentration-problems, memory problems and muscle and joint pains. There were no changes in the SCL-90 responses that indicated any alteration of psychological distress. Assessment using the MMPI-II revealed a profile typically seen in chronic physical illness and assessment of the Harris-Lingoes scales revealed no elevations in pathogenic scales. Twelve subjects (67%) had a positive Mycoplasma PCR response. Victims of the Bijlmermeer plane crash disaster had increases in symptoms similar to patients with Gulf War Syndrome and CFS and no evidence of somatoform disorder, anxiety or depression. Similar to patients with Gulf War Syndrome and CFS, a deregulation of the immune-competence through a combination of toxic material exposure and psychological stressors associated with increased opportunistic infections may be the most likely etiological hypothesis.

Item ID: 6547
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Bijlmermeer; Chronic fatigue Syndrome; Gulf Ware Syndrome; MMPI-II; Neurotoxicity
ISSN: 1057-3321
Date Deposited: 14 May 2010 00:39
FoR Codes: 01 MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES > 0104 Statistics > 010401 Applied Statistics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9299 Other Health > 929999 Health not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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