Thursday, November 16, 2006

ALS And The Military

A story I read last week suggests that the veterans of the First Gulf War suffer from ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, at about twice the rate of the general population. ALS is a horrible terminal disease with no established causes and no known treatments. Even with a doubled risk, veterans are quite unlikely to get ALS as it is a rare disease.

The golden lining in this small additional dark cloud hovering over the heads of war veterans is that we might now be able to find whether ALS is linked to the various kinds of toxins the military routinely handles. If this turns out to be true, the knowledge so gained could be of wider help.