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Old 01-23-2012, 02:39 PM
 
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I've recently read up on ALS "Lou Gehrig's Disease" and stumbled upon several articles linking military service to this condition. Not only American military but several nations across the globe. The link seems to be contamination of some sort. I have two "first cousins", both brother and sister, in their 50s who grew up their entire lives in the military and lived all over the globe since infants. After adulthood one carried on in the Army the other stayed on as a civilian. They both now have ALS, acquired about 1.5 years apart. There is no one else in our family that I know to have ever had any condition remotely like this disease, so, I'm not convinced it's genetic in this case. Does anyone have a take or info pertaining to ALS and the military and what could be the contaminate, if there is one?

Last edited by jmking; 01-23-2012 at 02:53 PM..
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Old 01-23-2012, 03:35 PM
 
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My father died of ALS. One of his sisters also died of ALS about 10 years or so later. ALS is not generally considered a genetic risk -- but about 10% of cases do carry a genetic connection. I am not aware of any articles or studies on a military connection (and neither my father nor his sister served in the military -- though my father's brothers did and neither of them had ALS). I would be interested in a link, if you can recall and provide.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:25 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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This video details how The ALS Association has worked with government agencies to lead the fight against Lou Gehrig's Disease on behalf of our military veterans:

Fighting for our Military Heroes - YouTube

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Old 01-23-2012, 04:29 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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From Article: Veterans Gain U.S. Benefits for Lou Gehrig’s Disease - NYTimes.com

Published: September 23, 2008



The federal government will provide disability pay, lifetime health care and death benefits for all veterans with Lou Gehrig’s disease, the Department of Veterans Affairs said, saying the disease was linked to military service.

All veterans with the illness will be eligible, regardless of when or where they served.

The decision is based on studies suggesting that veterans are more likely to develop the disease, which is also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or A.L.S.

The cause of the disease is unknown, and it is not common, affecting 20,000 to 30,000 people in the United States.

Dr. Jinsy Andrews, a neurologist at the center for the disease at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia hospital, said that several studies had linked A.L.S. to military service, though none could explain why. “There are many theories of why veterans may be having an increased risk of A.L.S.

Even though the connection is not certain, the government decided to compensate veterans because the disease is so severe and so rapidly progressive that there is simply no time to sort out individual claims.

The secretary of veterans affairs “felt the right thing to do was to give veterans the benefit of the doubt, particularly since this disease is so debilitating,” Mr. Pamperin said. The government expects 416 new cases among veterans in 2009, and a total of about 700 a year qualifying for the benefits. In some cases their survivors will quality for death benefits.
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Old 01-23-2012, 04:42 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
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"ALS IN THE MILITARY
May 10, 2011
UNEXPECTED CONSEQUENCES OF
MILITARY SERVICE"


Ten page PDF File from the ALS Association: ALS IN THE MILITARY

Quote:
Existing evidence supports the conclusion that people who have served in the military are at a greater risk of developing ALS and dying from the disease than those with no history of military service. As outlined in this paper, study after study continues to demonstrate this to be true: If you serve in the military, regardless of the branch of service, regardless of whether you served in the Persian Gulf War, Vietnam, Korea, or World War II, and regardless of whether you served during a time of peace or a time of war, you are at a greater risk of dying from ALS than if you had not served in the military. The questions we are asking today are these: Why is there a greater risk of ALS with military service? And what are we, as a nation, going to do about it?




ALS Web Page: Homepage - ALS Association



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Old 01-23-2012, 05:02 PM
 
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Interesting. I know of some veteran's wives who have ALS. But they are not veterans. Maybe there is another link.
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Old 01-24-2012, 03:06 PM
 
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Thanks for all the information, Poncho! Will be reading and checking all. Very interesting.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:21 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasper12 View Post
Interesting. I know of some veteran's wives who have ALS. But they are not veterans. Maybe there is another link.
Thanks all for your response! My cousin who is a veteran is covered by the VA because of the ALS. She at first had issues getting coverage because for the last 10 years she was a stay at home mom so that complicated things a bit. Her husband at the time, and now retired, was a Colonel in the army. When she found out she had ALS about 1.5 years ago she and her husband went to China for stem cell treatment which seemed to help but only for a short time.

Jasper, I found out a couple of weeks ago my other cousin, the brother of the veteran (who never served in the military, has come down with ALS and is now in worse shape than his sister. I now think their life as children of a career officer who lived all over the world their entire lives has exposed both brother and sister to some kind of contaminate. So, not only are our soldiers exposed but apparently their families too perhaps. Their parents are still alive and a younger sister who show no signs of ALS.

I also read an article sometime ago referencing an Italian soccer team that, for some reason, had a high number of players coming down with ALS. The investigation revealed that the soccer field the players practiced on was highly contaminated. What that contaminate was I never found out.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:07 PM
 
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My brother died of ALS 7/18/09. He received the military benefits, such a blessing to his quality of life. I am so very proud to say that he donated his body to ALS research. When the team came to get his body they were so amazingly respectful & kind.
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Old 04-05-2012, 11:08 PM
 
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Has your family researched the info on the SOD1 gene?


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmking View Post
Thanks all for your response! My cousin who is a veteran is covered by the VA because of the ALS. She at first had issues getting coverage because for the last 10 years she was a stay at home mom so that complicated things a bit. Her husband at the time, and now retired, was a Colonel in the army. When she found out she had ALS about 1.5 years ago she and her husband went to China for stem cell treatment which seemed to help but only for a short time.

Jasper, I found out a couple of weeks ago my other cousin, the brother of the veteran (who never served in the military, has come down with ALS and is now in worse shape than his sister. I now think their life as children of a career officer who lived all over the world their entire lives has exposed both brother and sister to some kind of contaminate. So, not only are our soldiers exposed but apparently their families too perhaps. Their parents are still alive and a younger sister who show no signs of ALS.

I also read an article sometime ago referencing an Italian soccer team that, for some reason, had a high number of players coming down with ALS. The investigation revealed that the soccer field the players practiced on was highly contaminated. What that contaminate was I never found out.
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