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Thread: Military service linked to Lou Gehrig's disease

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Military service linked to Lou Gehrig's disease

    Military service, particularly in the Gulf War, may be linked to development of Lou Gehrig’s disease, the Institute of Medicine said Friday.

    The evidence, however, is limited and inconsistent, the Institute said.

    The degenerative nerve disease, formally known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, gradually destroys the ability to control movement. Patients lose their ability to move or speak, but their minds remain unaffected. Most victims die of respiratory failure within a few years.
    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15656054/

    Quite interesting.

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    The Beast Master TZ Veteran PIPER's Avatar
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    hmmmm.......any volunteers....step forward....damn.

  3. #3
    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    No science here. There is no evidence that a statistical study has taken place. If it did, no conclusion could be established, example: "...some of those studies may have understated the number of ALS cases among non-veterans."

    To have a valid statistical study, you have to establish the population (the total group from which the sample will be taken). Then you have to take a fair and random sample.

    There are good records of the military population. Not so for the general population. Or could it be that the available stats for this group are good and they don't fit the answer this bunch is looking for. Read again, the words could , may, and suggestive are used when stating conclusions.

    My opinion is that this is fear mongering hogwash.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by efc View Post
    No science here. There is no evidence that a statistical study has taken place. If it did, no conclusion could be established, example: "...some of those studies may have understated the number of ALS cases among non-veterans."

    To have a valid statistical study, you have to establish the population (the total group from which the sample will be taken). Then you have to take a fair and random sample.

    There are good records of the military population. Not so for the general population. Or could it be that the available stats for this group are good and they don't fit the answer this bunch is looking for. Read again, the words could , may, and suggestive are used when stating conclusions.

    My opinion is that this is fear mongering hogwash.
    Efc,
    In most studies, the terms may, could and suggestive are often used especially when the studies are relatively new and limited like the one done with the military and Lou Gehrig's.

    According to the report, released as Veterans Day was being observed, five studies have been done on the subject.

    Three indicated a higher rate of ALS among veterans of the 1990-91 Gulf War, one found a link to veterans who served prior to that war and one found no link at all.
    With only 5 studies, it's still quite premature to be definite about anything, especially a disease as debilitating as this one.

    Overall, the Institute concluded, “There is limited and suggestive evidence of an association between military service and later development of ALS.”
    This sums it up rather nicely. Saying, it's possible that there's a link, but we're going to er on the side of caution before making an all out judgement.

    If there is a link between military service and Lou Gehrig's disease, then obviously the cause should be ascertained.

    Hunt for the cause
    The report called for more research to confirm this relationship and to determine the cause of any increased risk — which it said could include chemicals, involvement in traumatic events, intensive physical activity or other substances or activities.
    I don't want any serviceman or woman to suffer through this and if it can be prevented then I think the military and scientists should make every effort to isolate any possibility.

    But then again it could be all hogwash as you say. I won't deny that, as you make a good point. My point is, it's better to be err on the side of caution, than to dismiss it and then regret it later.

    I would like to read the study directly and see what it actually says to get a sense of how the 5 studies were done, the group size, and so on.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Their report cited results from three epidemiological studies showing that U.S. troops deployed for the 1991 Gulf War were up to twice as likely to develop ALS later in life than the general population or veterans who served at the same time but were not sent to the Gulf region for the war.

    The report also cited data originally collected in a cancer study from hundreds of thousands of people who served in the U.S. military from 1910 to 1982 that indicated a 1.5 times greater risk for ALS, suggesting the link is not restricted merely to the Gulf War.
    From:
    http://today.reuters.co.uk/news/arti...th-C4-Health-6

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    Titanium Member efc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Booger View Post
    Efc,
    In most studies, the terms may, could and suggestive are often used especially when the studies are relatively new and limited like the one done with the military and Lou Gehrig's.
    W
    Sorry BB, but but the above statement is incorrect. Any study with an answer of may or could is simply a w-a-g (wild ass guess) or as I said earlier an attempt to justify a predetermined result. In this case, my guess is the latter (a wag on my part). And it doesn't mean they are wrong about ALS and the Gulf War. They just haven't come close to showing a valid relationship.

    A pet peeve of mine is the use of junk statistics to scare people. It happens all the time. I agree with you. I would also like to see the data from this study.

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    Super Moderator Super Moderator Big Booger's Avatar
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    Most research that I have read uses vague wording to not sound absolute or finite in their findings. They want to leave it open slightly, in case future research was to upend their results and this is especially so with new or groundbreaking research...

    It's like a turtle in the shell. You stick your neck too far out and there's a Ghanian Turtle Chef nearby, you're gonna get your neck cut off.

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