• Posted by Timbo on November 13, 2023 at 8:44 am

    With the incidents of ALS being ~double the general population involving people that have served in the military – what research has been done to determine what veterans may have been exposed to that causes such an inordinate number of ALS cases? When reading some of the postings that raise the possibility of ALS being a symptom of exposure to toxins, etc. – as opposed to a disease. It would seem logical to try to identify what military people may have been exposed to – things in common that may be driving these high incidents of contracting ALS. Uniforms (dyes used), bedding, cookware, – any things environmental that might be unique to military life.

    Padraic replied 2 months, 4 weeks ago 6 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Amanda

    November 13, 2023 at 11:02 am

    There has been and continues to be research on this topic. There is a lot that can be found on line and in some medical journals. Here is a place to start reading https://www.als.org/sites/default/files/2020-04/navigating-als_military-veterans_als-in-military-white-paper_0.pdf

    Or https://www.als.org/navigating-als/military-veterans/ALS-in-the-Military

    and click on “review the report.”


  • Edward Joseph Mytych

    November 14, 2023 at 2:33 pm

    Exposure to gunpowder?

  • Nomad

    April 23, 2024 at 11:46 pm

    Pretty sure it was the green chicken & coffee they fed us in the field! Hah!

    All the MSDS (material safety data) sheets certainly said the “stuff” was deadly if consumed, breathed or physical contact. Petroleum’s, all things associated with firearms, depleted uranium and add in the constant stressors in/out of the field. Mind, Body, Spirit can only handle so much.

  • Marge

    April 25, 2024 at 3:26 pm

    It is amazing that the VA will cover many things for ALS patients who served 90 days or more in any location or position! My partner was in Hawaii as a physician for his mandatory term in the 60s. No combat or known toxins. He recently contracted ALS and was granted 100% disability. Most needs are covered thank God, as he is totally dependent for everything and in final stages after only a year or so from diagnosis. How one could afford everything needed without the VA is mind boggling! He was healthy prior to the onset, and was diagnosed soon after the third, booster, Covid shot.

    We then found a local person who nursed her husband with ALS. They were then I in their early twenties over 50 years ago. He was a healthy marine who expected to be sent to Guam and had the range of required vaccinations to do so. But soon after, he was sent to another country instead. Within weeks he developed ALS! Why, who knows? He survived for five years.

    It is strange that so long ago, ALS occurred, and that military personnel are twice as likely to get ALS than the general population. The VA automatically covers ALS patients. It is hard to imagine why the military as a group is more prone to get the disease with so many possible variables. One thing I thought of was certain vaccinations that most if not all military people get? I think it is accepted that certain vaccines can trigger some diseases?

    Whatever the reasons, it is certainly worth looking at the military phenomenon for insight into ALS causes.

  • Padraic

    April 25, 2024 at 6:33 pm

    I’ve spent some time searching for some clue as to where I might have been exposed to toxins during my time in the Army. The only commonality I find across all branches of service is the CS gas training required in every branch. Research reports that tear gas is “generally” considered non-toxic, but then again so are many things we have grown to accept which are being shown now to have damaging repercussions in our bodies we never suspected, right? And most disease-causing toxins, when not applied directly to the skin, enter our lungs first.

    In basic training at Ft Lewis, Washington they didn’t use the “gas chamber” method during my time there. Instead, while the company was “standing at ease” in formation, there was a sudden fake explosion. Abruptly, non-coms burst out of hiding and ran through the ranks spraying trainees directly in the face from gas cannisters. I fumbled to remove my eyeglasses, allowing them to fall to the dirt, and received a blast directly into my eyes and lungs. When I finally and blindly got my mask on, I had quite a time of it. I can still hear the “gotcha!” coming from that non-com with his cannister, laughing at my distress.

    Once overseas about a year later I did the “gas chamber” approach and fared much better.

    I can find no studies on a possible connection between CS exposure and health problems years down the road. Does anyone know of a study looking at long-term effects of this gas on overall health decades after exposure? Worth considering, I suppose.

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