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I saw this on the news and when I went to search more about it...I found the ALS website had this news piece.<br><br><br><br><a href="http://www.alsa.org/news/news092203.cfm" target="_blank">http://www.alsa.org/news/news092203.cfm</a><br><br><br><br><br>
"News from ALSA<br>
New Research Involving Gulf War Veterans Could Provide Insight About ALS<br>
September 22, 2003<br><br><br>
Calabasas Hills, CA (September 22) - New research finds that veterans deployed to the Persian Gulf in the 1991 Gulf War have developed ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) at approximately twice the rate of veterans not deployed, according to a study published in the September 23 issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology.<br><br>
The ALS Association (ALSA) played a key role in consulting with the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and the broader scientific community, in the decision to proceed with the research into the incidence of ALS in veterans of the 1991 Gulf War. ALSA recommended neurologists who have expertise in ALS for involvement in the study and also helped identify patient enrollees.<br><br>
The study sought to identify all occurrences of ALS in the military after the start of the Gulf War. According to lead study author Ronnie D. Horner, PhD, of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, this study found that military personnel deployed to the Persian Gulf experienced almost twice the incidence of ALS than those who were not deployed to the region.<br><br>
"The Gulf War ALS study should serve as a source of incremental knowledge in a body of future research to learn more about the occurrence of ALS in military veterans," said Mary Lyon, vice president of patient services. "This information, in turn, can lead to a better understanding of ALS and how one or more environmental exposures may contribute to the disease."<br><br>
Known as Lou Gehrig's disease, ALS kills brain and spinal cord cells that control muscle movement, resulting in gradual muscle wasting and loss of movement. ALS usually strikes those between the ages of 40 and 70 and affects as many as 30,000 American at a given time.<br><br>
"The challenge is in understanding what the environmental exposures may be that are responsible for the higher incidence," said Dr. Lucie Bruijn, ALSA science director and vice president. "The hope of course is that this will provide information about the disease mechanism."<br><br>
The ALS Association also is collaborating with the Department of Veteran Affairs in a nationwide effort to enroll all living veterans with ALS in the National Registry of Veterans with ALS, the first registry to identify and track the health status of veterans with this progressive neurodegenerative disorder. The purpose of the registry is to identify veterans with ALS, make them aware of emerging treatment studies and offer them the opportunity to participate in research into potential causes of the disease. A scientific review committee of ALS experts will evaluate potential studies and recommend those with merit to the registry members. Dr. Bruijn is participating on this review committee. "
 
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