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ALS in Gulf War Vets - Articles

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Fifty miles off the coast of Nantucket, 250 feet beneath the Atlantic, lies the RMS Republic and her secret treasure. As soon as Republic sank, rumors spread of a precious cargo, but the ship has kept her secrets intact for over a century, until now. Life-long treasure hunter Martin Bayerle joined Connie Willis (email) for all four hours to discuss how he has devoted the past 35 years of his life researching the shipwreck and proving the existence of her reputed cargo of 150,000 American Eagle gold coins, a bounty worth a billion dollars in today’s economy, and his quest to recover the it on his second attempt at the Republic.

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ALS in Gulf War Vets

ALS in Gulf War Vets

Tonight's first hour guest, Epidemiologist Dr. Robert W. Haley, has been studying the connection between Gulf War Syndrome and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) for the last decade. ALS, sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive neurological disease that results in paralysis and eventually death. For those afflicted, there is no hope of cure for the disease.
A recently published study in this month's issue of Neurology(1) shows the rate of ALS in Gulf War veterans younger than 45 years of age was as much as three times more than the rate expected in the general population.
Dr. Halely notes, "ALS is extremely rare in young age groups. Our findings suggest that some environmental exposure that these veterans had in the Gulf War greatly accelerated the ALS process so that it occurred at a much younger age."
Despite mounting evidence, not everyone is convinced of the relationship between Gulf War service and ALS. Dr. Michael Rose of King's College Hospital in London believes the recent study to have "a number of potential flaws," but that "accumulation of further evidence [will allow] a firmer conclusion."
--S.L.

1. http://www.neurology.org

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