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ALS in US army veterans, official attitude

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jethro

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hello,
can anyone put some light on official attitude of US government: is ALS treated anyhow as a "veteran disease"/is veteran with ALS anyhow different treated, since prevalance of ALS is almost double among veterans.
Sorry, I'm from country where war lasted for four years, and nobody ever mentioned ALS. I'm vet also, war is over 23 years ago, so most of ALS affected are veterans, and nobody connected that fact in my country.
 

Nikki J

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A US veteran with ALS is considered to have a 100 percent service connected disability. There is no official statement of what factors are believed to cause the increased risk. Vets do not have to have seen combat to get the benefits
 

Lkaibel

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It is of the greatest aggravation to me that we have no statement on WHY it is considered a 100% service connected disability in the U.S. I doubt very much that the United states government started paying out huge sums in benefits to Vets with ALS without understanding at lease some significant evidence of a connection. That evidence, I suspect would help research for ALS, perhaps significantly.

That said, I think it is wonderful that we do give those benefits to Veterans and if anything I think they should be extended to include 24/7 homecare and better disability payments.
 

Atsugi

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Here's a little hint.


When our government decided to enter into a full scale war with Saddam Hussein, we were told it would be a chemical war. The US military injected antidote chemicals into hundreds of thousands of troops. Our troops down in the war zone wore chemical suits and gas masks and there were special teams sent to the Middle East for chemical detection and chemical cleaning.

Now, ask yourself, did the US, expecting a chemical war, secretly send a whole lot of chemical weapons to the area, shipping them in from secret stockpiles all over the world?


Years later, when the government began to investigate the numbers of vets with ALS, they suddenly shut down the study and simply announced that anyone who served in the military anywhere in the world during that time frame would be "presumed" to have "service-connected" ALS.


Rather quickly, they opened it up to all veterans who served at any time, which would include WWII and Korea and Vietnam vets.


Personally, I think that last bit was just cover--the US military doesn't want anybody investigating the matter.
 

notBrad

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You mean to say that the government put people in harms way and now doesn't want anyone to investigate it,? I am shocked, shocked I tell you...
 

Nikki J

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I thought I read research that showed the elevated risk in all group from wwII on ( all the vet groups they looked at). Disinformation?
 

ShiftKicker

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lgelb

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Here is a deck focusing on the Gulf War vets.
 

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Atsugi

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Good slides. Thanks.


Despite the summary at the end, I think the numbers and maps were pretty clear--there were specific places in the AOR where ALS was concentrated.
 

Atsugi

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The Brit-based study adds more evidence.

Consider:
If you're an American (spent no time in England) who served in the AOR (area of responsibility--the war zone), OR
if you're a Brit (spent no time in America) who served in the AOR,
then you have double the chance of getting ALS.

That pretty well points a big fat finger right at the war zone as the center of ALS.
 

MVFinVA

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My dh is a vet that served during both Gulf Wars but not in the AOR. He did not receive any of the inoculations associated with being deployed. We both served in Korea and had chemical warfare suits and masks, but I wore mine and he hardly ever wore his because he was in a HQ position. Would he have gotten ALS without serving, who knows? I have also read there may be some connection to strenuous physical activity and ALS. He did run 3 miles a day, 6 days a week for the last 15 years. I suspect there my be a combination of things related to serving that increase the risk of ALS, not any one thing or one war.
 

MarieLaure

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hello,
Just wondering : My dad was in the army when he was young. He was not involved in anything chemical officially but he was among the troops who took part in nuclear tests.
The French army (nicknamed "the great mute" because of its outstanding communication) has acknowledged nuclear tests related cancers, including among civilian population, but I can't find any reference to ALS. Yet I wonder...
By the way he too was very keen on sports ever since he was young. He only stopped going to the swimming pool when his arms failed.
have nice times all
 

MarieLaure

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Forgot to say : his dad was in the army almost all his adult life and he was in different conflicts in various parts of the world.
 

Kristina1

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I had read that the increased chance of ALS in service men and women did not differentiate between those sent into war and those doing a desk job at home. Which really adds to the confusion.
 

BK2011

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At one point I read an article that said “U.S. veterans carry a nearly 60 percent greater risk of contracting ALS than civilians, according to a white paper published in 2013 by the ALS Association, citing Harvard University research that tracked ex-service members back to 1910.” I believe that Gulf war vets were twice as likely to get ALS (that’s 100% greater risk). When I was diagnosed (2011) I didn’t check in with the VA until sometime around December 2011 and wasn’t given a 100% disability, that changed sometime shortly after that. Again what I remember reading back when it first changed was that the reason for the change was that research going back to the Korean War showed “a statistically significant” increase in the probability of getting ALS if one served in the armed forces and thus the decision to make it a service connected designation. They don’t know why it’s happening, just that it is. Because of the time it takes to be diagnosed and the relatively short survival time after diagnosis ALS was put on a fast track for benefits.

I’m not really a conspiracy theorist so I don’t really think people are hiding anything with any intent to hinder research on what causes ALS. Kelly AFB here in the U.S. had a high incidence of ALS (mostly office workers that had not deployed to the GW). Hey, US football players are three times as likely to get ALS than the general population. In Italy they found soccer players are more likely to get ALS but the Italians studied basketball players and cyclists at the same time and found no significant increase in als. Their conclusion was increased incidence of als was not due to physical exertion. Personally, I think cause is a combination of things; maybe some genetic and some environmental.

Bill
 
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