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Some of these doctors are surprised Nicolson is comfortable suggesting a drug without an examination. Doxycycline can sensitize the skin to sunlight, and it can turn the teeth of children gray, says Arnold Gorin, a Veterans Administration doctor in Houston who is also director of the National Referral Center for Persian War Veterans. Nicolson isn't behaving like a doctor, says Gorin, because he isn't a doctor. Gorin didn't doubt that doxycycline may be effective on many of the illnesses that are called Gulf War Syndrome, but he was skeptical that any of those illnesses were caused by biological warfare.
"Why would you use a biological agent that killed soldiers one or two years after they destroyed your capital?" Gorin asks.
But Garth Nicolson remains steadfast. To prove everything he believes, he has applied for a research grant. Meanwhile, through radio shows, fringe magazines and by word of mouth, the reputation of Garth Nicolson and M.D. Anderson continues to spread. Callers from across the country are clogging the switchboard now asking about the research into Gulf War Syndrome, Nicolson says. The administration has been more friendly lately, he claims, and the reason is that LeMaistre knows this is a "P.R. bonanza."
None of this could have been achieved, Nancy Nicolson says, if it weren't for Garth's good name. She promises the publicity will continue.
"People in the motion picture industry are interested in this," she says. "I'm meeting with Time Warner on Thursday.