NY Times: Study Says Brain Trauma Can Mimic A.L.S.

Happy hour starts in 5 minutes

Lanky Livingston

The Commissioner
Joined
Jul 15, 2009
Messages
27,017
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Houston, TX

Florida Atlantic


Very interesting read - Lou Gherig may not have even died from the disease that bears his name.
------------

Study Says Brain Trauma Can Mimic A.L.S.

In the 71 years since the Yankees slugger Lou Gehrig declared himself “the luckiest man on the face of the earth,” despite dying from a disease that would soon bear his name, he has stood as America’s leading icon of athletic valor struck down by random, inexplicable fate.
Related

A peer-reviewed paper to be published Wednesday in a leading journal of neuropathology, however, suggests that Gehrig’s demise — and that of some other athletes and soldiers given a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — might have been catalyzed by injuries only now becoming understood: concussions and other brain trauma.

Although the paper does not discuss Gehrig specifically, its authors in interviews acknowledged the clear implication: Lou Gehrig might not have had Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Doctors at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Bedford, Mass., and the Boston University School of Medicine, the primary researchers of brain damage among deceased National Football League players, said that markings in the spinal cords of two players and one boxer who also received a diagnosis of A.L.S. indicate that those men did not have A.L.S. at all. They had a different fatal disease, doctors said, caused by concussionlike trauma, that erodes the central nervous system in similar ways.

The finding could prompt a redirection in the study of motor degeneration in athletes and military veterans being given diagnoses of A.L.S. at rates considerably higher than normal, said several experts in A.L.S. who had seen early versions of the paper. Patients with significant histories of brain trauma could be considered for different types of treatment, perhaps leading toward new pathways for a cure.

“Most A.L.S. patients don’t go to autopsy — there’s no need to look at your brain and spinal cord,” said Dr. Brian Crum, an assistant professor of neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. “But a disease can look like A.L.S., it can look like Alzheimer’s, and it’s not when you look at the actual tissue. This is something that needs to be paid attention to.”

The finding’s relevance to Gehrig is less clear. But the Yankee legend had a well-documented history of significant concussions on the baseball field, and perhaps others sustained as a battering-ram football halfback in high school and at Columbia University. Given that, it’s possible that Gehrig’s renowned commitment to playing through injuries like concussions, which resulted in his legendary streak of playing in 2,130 consecutive games over 14 years, could have led to his condition.

“Here he is, the face of his disease, and he may have had a different disease as a result of his athletic experience,” said Dr. Ann McKee, the director of the neuropathology laboratory for the New England Veterans Administration Medical Centers, and the lead neuropathologist on the study.

----------
Click link for the rest of the article.
 

China

The Team Captain
Joe Gibbs Club Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2009
Messages
2,665
Reaction score
13
Points
68
Location
Falls Church, VA

Michigan State

Not surprising. Same thing for Parkinson's disease. All you have to do is look at Muhammed Ali.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)

Private conversations
Help Users
    You haven't joined any rooms.
    Chat 0
    Top