From: "\"Doc\" Bruce K. Melson" <docmelson@docmelson.com>

X-RCPT-TO: <Will@willpete.com>

 

Resolution No. 647

 

 

 

 

AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (LOU GEHRIG'S DISEASE)

 

HIGH AMONG GULF WAR VETERANS

 

 

 

WHEREAS, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as "Lou Gehrig’s

Disease," is a fatal neurological condition that destroys motor neurons, the

specialized brain and spinal cord nerve cells that control muscles; and

 

WHEREAS, while progression of the disease may vary, approximately 50 percent

of people with the disease die within three years of the first symptoms; and

 

WHEREAS, an estimated 30,000 Americans (less than one percent of the

population) suffer from this disease; and

 

WHEREAS, it typically appears in people between the ages of 50 and 70; and

 

WHEREAS, the average age of a Persian Gulf War veteran is 32 years; and

 

WHEREAS, estimates suggest that normal risk is less than one in one million

per year for a person in their 30s to contract ALS; and

 

WHEREAS, a recent study of veterans’ health records showed a higher than

normal incidence of ALS among Persian Gulf War veterans, with no present

research as to why; and

 

WHEREAS, that "normal incidence" is estimated at 27 veterans but there are

over 40 veterans with ALS symptoms enrolled in the VA’s "Epidemiological

Investigation into the Occurrence of Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis Among Gulf

War Veterans" currently being conducted at the Durham VA Medical Center; and

 

WHEREAS, Congress has historically solved such uncertainty by authorizing a

presumption of service connection in circumstances where a statistical

association indicates it is at least as likely as not that the disease is due

to military service; and

 

WHEREAS, as long as a question of a casual connection between service in the

Persia Gulf and ALS goes unresolved, the circumstances of a higher than usual

incidence of ALS in Persian Gulf War veterans warrant a presumption of

service connection; now, therefore

 

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States, that we

call for intensified medical and scientific research to determine the cause

of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis among Gulf War veterans and, in the interim,

we

 

 

 

Submitted by Commander-in-Chief

 

To Committee on VETERANS SERVICE RESOLUTIONS

 

Resolution No. 647 - page 2 - continued

 

 

 

 

 

urge Congress to grant a temporary presumption of service connection for

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis for Persian Gulf War veterans until such time

as the research is complete.

 

 

 

"When the way comes to an end, then change - having changed, you pass through."

      I. Ching

 

 Bruce "Doc". Melson

http://www.docmelson.com/

http://www.docmelson.com/MedicsPlace/index.htm