Dr. Georgopoulos presented American Legion's Highest Award

Dr. Apostolos Georgopoulos was presented The American Legion's Distinguished Service Medal. American Legion National Commander Charles E. Schmidt said Georgopoulos is responsible for research involving
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A complex psychiatric syndrome that develops in response to trauma exposure. Individuals with PTSD experience intrusive recollections or reexperiencing of the traumatic event, avoidance of trauma reminders, emotional numbing, and hyperarousal. In addition, PTSD is associated with high rates of concomitant physical and mental health problems, increased health care use, and impairment in social and occupational functioning. Almost 7% of the general population and up to 30% of veterans meet lifetime criteria for PTSD. Indeed, PTSD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, representing a significant and costly public health concern.
,
Gulf War Illness

Gulf War Illness (GWI)

Shortly after the Gulf War (1990^aEUR"91), veterans started to report a variety of health problems that began during, or soon after returning from, deployment, prompting investigation into the epidemiology and etiology of the complaints. Those investigations revealed that diffuse symptoms such as fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, mood and neurocognitive complaints, gastrointestinal problems, and rashes were most commonly reported. The constellation of symptoms, now commonly referred to as Gulf War Illness (GWI), has affected a substantial number of Gulf War veterans. Several population-based studies have demonstrated that these symptoms occur at significantly higher rates in deployed Gulf War veterans relative to their nondeployed peers and other veterans, raising the issue about possible in-theater exposures and stress as contributing factors. However, these symptoms are also present in non-deployed military personnel, leading some to suspect other causes, including reactions to vaccine adjuvants. In summary, GWI is now a recognized constellation of symptoms of unclear etiology, also co-occurring with psychiatric disorders.
, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia, alcohol abuse and other areas. The American Legion Distinguished Service Medal recognizes outstanding service to the nation and programs of The American Legion.
Original Story BelowThe American Legion's Board of Directors announced on May 10 the that Apostolos Georgopoulos, Director of the Minneapolis VA Brain Sciences Center, has been awarded by unanimous vote the American Legion's highest award, the Distinguished Service Medal for his "achievements in research on Gulf War illness as it affects an estimated 300,000 veterans and military personnel who served in Iraq and Afghanistan". The medal is based on outstanding service to the community, state, and nation and has been awarded since 1921. Past recipients include Jonas Salk, Babe Ruth, General Eisenhower, Bob Hope, and Presidents Truman, Ford, George HW Bush, and George W Bush.According to Dr. Georgopoulos:
This tremendous honor is a recognition of the contributions of the Minnesota Veterans in creating and supporting the American Legion Brain Sciences Chair of which I have been the privileged holder since 1991. Our efforts at the
Brain Sciences Center

Brain Sciences Center (BSC)

A research group in collaboration with the Minnesota American Legion, Minneapolis VA Medical Center, and the University of Minnesota.
of the Minneapolis VA Health Care System are culminating in major breakthroughs regarding
GWI

Gulf War Illness (GWI)

Shortly after the Gulf War (1990^aEUR"91), veterans started to report a variety of health problems that began during, or soon after returning from, deployment, prompting investigation into the epidemiology and etiology of the complaints. Those investigations revealed that diffuse symptoms such as fatigue, musculoskeletal pain, mood and neurocognitive complaints, gastrointestinal problems, and rashes were most commonly reported. The constellation of symptoms, now commonly referred to as Gulf War Illness (GWI), has affected a substantial number of Gulf War veterans. Several population-based studies have demonstrated that these symptoms occur at significantly higher rates in deployed Gulf War veterans relative to their nondeployed peers and other veterans, raising the issue about possible in-theater exposures and stress as contributing factors. However, these symptoms are also present in non-deployed military personnel, leading some to suspect other causes, including reactions to vaccine adjuvants. In summary, GWI is now a recognized constellation of symptoms of unclear etiology, also co-occurring with psychiatric disorders.
and
PTSD

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

A complex psychiatric syndrome that develops in response to trauma exposure. Individuals with PTSD experience intrusive recollections or reexperiencing of the traumatic event, avoidance of trauma reminders, emotional numbing, and hyperarousal. In addition, PTSD is associated with high rates of concomitant physical and mental health problems, increased health care use, and impairment in social and occupational functioning. Almost 7% of the general population and up to 30% of veterans meet lifetime criteria for PTSD. Indeed, PTSD is one of the most common psychiatric disorders, representing a significant and costly public health concern.
, two conditions of major concern in our veterans. My heartfelt thanks to my collaborators, our Medical Center leadership, and all our supporters.
The award will be presented in August at the American Legion's annual convention in Reno, NV by Charles Schmidt, National Commander: "on behalf of all our veterans and military personnel who will be the beneficiaries of your medical research accomplishments".