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New York Times Article

Postby InvisibleTwitches on February 28th, 2014, 4:28 pm

Hey guys, I am in need of some help today.

Last night I came across an article in the New York Times about a young man, 27 years old when diagnosed with ALS. The author of the piece - which I must admit was a bit sensational, linked it to him having played soccer his entire life, heading the ball, etc. and brain injury. I was shocked, scared, and nervous about both his age, how the symptoms started, and the game of soccer.

Needless to say, despite all the progress I made in the field of my anxiety, this shocked and scared me. I played that sport my entire life. Likewise, I was scared about how his symptoms presented. I won't provide the link, because if anyone has the same level of anxiety as I do, it wouldn't be good.

I need helping coping with this and putting it into perspective. He was a very healthy young guy, then boom. I am trying to think this through: SOCCER is the most POPULAR SPORT IN THE WORLD, and ALS remains a relatively rare disease. Perhaps their is no link at all. Still....... :(
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby SecretAgentMan on February 28th, 2014, 4:46 pm

And Lou Gehrig played baseball. Does that mean if you played baseball you will get the disease too? Your fears are irrational. Everybody gets bumped on the head, usually several times a year. I gave myself a good whack when I banged my head into a cubicle wall as I leaned over to throw something into a trash can yesterday in my office.

Live your life rather than consuming it with fear of what could be. Everybody dies eventually and there's no cheating that. Yeah, we want it to be later rather than sooner, but if you're going to make yourself miserable until that time comes what's the point? Seriously, why do you keep doing this to yourself? I'd recommend seeing a professional hypnotist that can perhaps help you to plant some reaffirming subconscious thoughts that will help you to break out of this cycle. It is a cycle you are caught in. It is entirely possible to overcome but it will be much easier with help.

Part of the reason the Alcoholics Anonymous groups were formed was to give people help and support so that they wouldn't have to break their cycles alone. It is incredibly difficult to break cycles without help. Do you have some sort of a support group that you can look into joining? Perhaps look on meetup.com as they have free meetup groups for pretty much anything. You can do key word searches. Also, it is usually incredibly powerful and helpful in making life transformation changes to be in touch with your spirituality. I am not talking religion here. I am talking non-denominational, no dogma, how you relate to who you really are. It's like of like when you meditate and find your inner peace or sit down for a long contemplative prayer and don't ask for anything but just sit, be, and listen. That sort of a daily routine can do wonders for your soul and by default your strength of will to make positive changes in your life. It can also take the teeth off of your fear of death if done properly. After all, isn't that the ultimate road all fears lead to? Anyway, I hope this helps...

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If your mind is your own worst enemy, why not make friends with it and turn it into your greatest ally? Mental discipline is achievable and there is help available. Learn what works for you, practice, and change your life for the better.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby J4son on February 28th, 2014, 5:26 pm

It’s not the fact of playing soccer of baseball, it’s the link between repetitive head concussions received by professional athletes over a long period of time (and I mean real professional athletes not occasional players) and the onset of the disease. Genetic factors might also play a role here, which would explain why most athletes do not develop the disease even after a history of concussions.

Although not yet a consensus in the medical field, some researchers think that these young Athletes suffered from a different disease, a form of encephalopathy that mimics ALS rather than classical ALS. On autopsy a protein called tau was found to be in higher levels in the spinal cords of athletes who endured repetitive head trauma compared to patients with regular ALS. Although the symptoms are the same the distinction could be important when seeking a possible cure. Lou Gehrig might not have had ALS after all.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby RobJ on February 28th, 2014, 6:03 pm

if u eat ice cream u get polio. does anyone remember the ice cream correlation?

i think als is a genetic mutation like x linked recessive mutations spontaneously appear w no known fam history.

one day u will be tested for it like sma and sbma.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby Little Lost on February 28th, 2014, 6:28 pm

Hi

Please excuse me for reposting a reply I wrote and put in another topic a few months back. BUT I WANT YOU TO READ IT and if I just post the link you probably wont. It was my reply to someone I had spooked by talking about ALS in Fernando Rickson who was a dutch international football player recently diagnosed at 38 with Bulbar onset ALS. I mentioned that professional soccer players had a slightly increased chance of developing ALS/MND. This forum member wrote that he played football and I had scared him. I combined all the info to try to explain why certain athletes/sports have a slight develop ALS young. I think you will see it makes sense. It is horrible when we have set backs, like we were climbing out the hole, daring to be happy again, just for something to come any grab our fasciculating leg and drag us back down again. So here is what I posted at the time. Please read.

quoteRe: To calm the nerves
by Little Lost on January 16th, 2014, 9:05 pm

The study was done on French and Italian professional elite footballers playing in top flight leagues at a level of fitness unsurpassed by other countries. The reasons are unclear but a lot of evidence points to an inability to clear waste products (neurotoxic free radicals)out of cells when the body is made to continually exercise at this unnatural level of stress, over a prolonged time (daily for years), They hypothesis that this may start a chain reaction in genetically suseptible individuals (genetics that probably made it possible for them to be elite driven talented footballers in the first place). IT IS ABOUT THE TOXIC EFFECTS on muscles and neurons, caused by VASTLY OVERSTRETCHING ENDURANCE, and inappropriate chemical treatment of injuries ( often banned), coupled to genetic predisposition. So the nervous system is probably under stress, the muscles are full of waste biproducts, and then throw in the pesticides, herbicides that they treat the best grass pitches with, ( far too expensive for local grounds maintenence budgets). Add in the constant knocks, and occasional illegal anabolic and stimulants, example nandrolin, and the huge concentrations of neurotoxic branched amino acids used in professionals diatary integrators, this is what they think might give the recipe for the slight increase in ALS in this cohort. It is about a combination of risk factors. IT is only about the highest professional footballers.

It is not about the thousands of players who play for local clubs and for recreation. Low leagues WERE NOT similarly affected. Many papers used semi pros andd lower leagues as controls because there was no ioncreased incidence in these groups. These studies are not about Jo public having a good kick around, or semi pros. The footballers I talked about being in the papers were both retired internationals simply ending their careers in Scotland. There was no increased evidence of ALS/MND in profesional cyclists , and most other sports. I dont know at what level you played but if it is at semi-pro or for recreation then thousands of people in the UK play many times a week, and we don't have an increase in ALS incidences. The increase risk "WAS ONLY EVER FOUND IN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLERS playing for longer that 5 years at TOP fitness level.


This study only concluded those in the TOP FLIGHT, and even at that the odds were very long still. Perhaps I assume wrong, that you were not one of those players or you would be driving around in a ferrari with your own personal neurologist on speed dial, an an EMG machine next to your treadmill.

Seriously sorry to cause you stress, but please be reassured this study does not apply to you. There is no increase risk except in this cohort of players !!!!! It would be like saying eating caviar over a period of 5 years gives you a slight chance of heartattack, then applying this too widely and saying I ate tuna last night I will have a heart attack in 5 mins. Dont read too much in to this. I was just trying to say because some famous sports people had MND/ALS it was in the papers and media a lot, making it seem more common.
Hx


So that is the post I wanted you to read, so to recap genetic suseptibility the same genes that probably made them the driven individuals they are ( testosterone, androgen studies),, , severe endurance, extreme fitness levels, toxic waste products produced in cells at an alarming rate during this intense level of exercise over a prolonged period of years at this fitness levels, waste products which are known neurotoxic byproducts, add into this background, use of certain banned substances, pesticides, head trama. These people are not the same as we are, not even close so please try not to fit yourself into their shoes, they don't fi you.

Hope this reassures you even a little bit.

Hx
Last edited by Little Lost on February 28th, 2014, 8:20 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby SecretAgentMan on February 28th, 2014, 7:02 pm

I developed a concussion when I fell at the playground and was knocked unconscious. I was in the 1st or 2nd grade at the time. I developed BFS in my early 30's. Although I was afraid of what was happening to me I wasn't afraid to explore options outside of my comfort zone after conventional medicine failed me. I pursued holistic medicine and tried acupuncture, chiropractic, dietary changes, hypnosis, and later meditation. I turned my life around and that required a major course correction and perspective change. I had to open my mind to concepts I had never considered before. I decided that since my mental attitude and negativity were being my worst enemy that I would actually work to learn mental discipline and change that. I learned to quiet my mind and find my inner peace.

I will be honest that the concision did come up in one of my appointments with my chiropractor/acupuncturist. He was picking up that I had one in the past and asked me about it. At first I said no. After working on me a little longer he asked again in a probing manner to try to jog my memory. Suddenly it came back to me that I had that fall on the playground when I was in 1st or 2nd grade. He did a treatment and adjustment to clear the old injury out. Acupuncture is very strange like that. You can hang on to old injuries for long periods of time without ever having fully processed them or healing them. One of the most apparent times I can recall was when it came up that I was showing signs of having a reaction to a vaccine. I hadn't had any vaccine shots in years. The last one I had was in 2005 or 2006 for a tetanus booster in my shoulder. If you've ever had one your upper arm hurts like you were punched there for a few days after the shot. Well, the acupuncture points he treated for this vaccine reaction were on my torso, nowhere near my arm. The next day my upper arm hurt like I had been punched, just like it did when I had the vaccine. It lasted about 2 days and went away. When I asked him about this he said it is normal for us to sometimes feel sensitivity in the area where a cleared injury is finally allowed to be processed and healed. Very strange indeed.

So just how critical was the concussion in my overall healing and recovery process? I cannot say it wasn't a factor, but I can say there were soooo many things I had to work on and clear that it couldn't have been a very large factor. I believe far more importantly that it is a priority to change your attitude and thoughts. That has to be the primary focus. Without that foundation, I do not see progress being obtainable. Once you address that you can work with the physical and other lifestyle changes that need to take place. I really recommend a holistic doctor too. They can be a powerful ally in your journey to recovery.
If your mind is your own worst enemy, why not make friends with it and turn it into your greatest ally? Mental discipline is achievable and there is help available. Learn what works for you, practice, and change your life for the better.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby MarioMangler on February 28th, 2014, 7:43 pm

I am a big fan of baseball history, and let me tell you right now that "playing soccer" and "doing what Lou Gehrig did" are not even remotely in the same ballpark. Gehrig was notorious for injuring his head and just being flat out reckless. I mean, he had so many concussions in his life that it was practically his trademark. He ran head first into a brick wall once in Chicago and he was knocked out so cold they actually had a priest come out and give him last rites. He was knocking himself silly constantly. And most of his injuries weren't even from baseball, most of his injuries were sustained when he played football in high school and college back when he was younger. He was just an absolutely fearless football player. And they didn't have great helmets back in the 1910's, so you can guess what kind of damage he must have done to his brain over the years.

Anytime someone brings up the soccer/heading/Lou Gehrig stuff (and this comes up a lot around here) I always have to come in and point out that Gehrig was not, by any stretch of the imagination, anything close to what you would consider a typical athlete. The guy was just insanely reckless. Again, head injuries were his TRADEMARK. They are the reason he is revered in the baseball world today, they are the reason he is considered great old number four, the guy who played through the pain and who couldn't be stopped and would never see a doctor. Because that is really why he was so famous in baseball. He never took a day off, he never missed a game, he would never see a doctor, no matter how badly he was injured. And he was injured a lot. And that is the great irony in his life. If he would have actually taken a day off, if he actually would have rested after the numerous concussions he would regularly get in his life, perhaps he would have recovered better and he wouldn't have developed his brain injuries. And yes it is true that a lot of scientists these days don't believe he even had ALS at all. Most people these days believe that over the years he more or less just smashed his brain until it couldn't recover anymore. Which is the second big irony in his life. Lou Gehrig probably didn't even have Lou Gehrig's Disease in the first place.

The short version of this? Whatever happened to Lou Gehrig will not happen to you. He was kind of a unique case. In fact he was so unique, that he is the reason most professional sports require you to go on the disabled list if you get a concussion nowadays. In baseball now it is mandatory. Get a concussion, you are automatically placed on the 7 day disabled list. A lot of that is because of Gehrig. And because America would cheer him whenever he would get a concussion and then he would be right out there the very next day, and he would probably get cracked in the brain again.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby InvisibleTwitches on February 28th, 2014, 9:01 pm

SecretAgentMan, LittleLost, RobJ, J4son, and MarioMangler,

You guys are the best. Thank you all so much, I really needed that.


Mario, I truly enjoyed your info on Lou Gehrig. As a huge baseball fan myself, I sadly don't know much about one of the games greatest players, because my fear of the name typically has driven me away from further knowledge. Very ironic indeed:
And yes it is true that a lot of scientists these days don't believe he even had ALS at all. Most people these days believe that over the years he more or less just smashed his brain until it couldn't recover anymore. Which is the second big irony in his life. Lou Gehrig probably didn't even have Lou Gehrig's Disease in the first place.
That is very ironic.
The short version of this? Whatever happened to Lou Gehrig will not happen to you. He was kind of a unique case.


SecretAgentMan,
Thank you for your personal story and insight
I developed a concussion when I fell at the playground and was knocked unconscious. I was in the 1st or 2nd grade at the time. I developed BFS in my early 30's. Although I was afraid of what was happening to me I wasn't afraid to explore options outside of my comfort zone after conventional medicine failed me. I pursued holistic medicine

I do agree that -- and trust me, I have made so much progress over the past 3 years from when I first started worry about this, but I need to and want to make more -- my mental health is a vast priority. And I do believe in holistic medicine. Likewise, that sometimes brings me to my next fear: I spent nearly 2 years worrying about this almost day and night; I think about that, and wonder how bad that must have been for my mental health, then I wonder + fear......maybe all that worrying and thinking about ALS will result in me having ALS one day, maybe that will be the cause. It is a savage garden. Yet I have found that Neurofeedback has been of some help for me, and again, I do feel that I am at a much healthier mind-state. Likewise thanks for this
Your fears are irrational. Everybody gets bumped on the head, usually several times a year. I gave myself a good whack when I banged my head into a cubicle wall as I leaned over to throw something into a trash can yesterday in my office.
...
You are fine. You always have been and always will be
. I appreciate it. I truly am doing much better, I am just having some setbacks here and there. Yet I agree, I need to get complete control of this and go back to living the carefree and happy life I had always known -- it was amazing and I want to be there again.

LittleLost,
Thank you for sharing this information, very interesting:
It is not about the thousands of players who play for local clubs and for recreation. Low leagues WERE NOT similarly affected. Many papers used semi pros andd lower leagues as controls because there was no ioncreased incidence in these groups. These studies are not about Jo public having a good kick around, or semi pros. The footballers I talked about being in the papers were both retired internationals simply ending their careers in Scotland. There was no increased evidence of ALS/MND in profesional cyclists , and most other sports. I dont know at what level you played but if it is at semi-pro or for recreation then thousands of people in the UK play many times a week, and we don't have an increase in ALS incidences. The increase risk "WAS ONLY EVER FOUND IN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLERS playing for longer that 5 years at TOP fitness level.

And no I wasn't/am not a professional soccer player with a
ferrari with your own personal neurologist on speed dial, an an EMG machine next to your treadmill.
haha I got a kick out of that!
I guess when reading this New York Times article, seeing how and when this young man was diagnosed, at the age of 27, which is my age, struck a fear deep inside of me as well. Yet, he was a D1 College Soccer player and it stated that he had Traumatic Brain Injury as the result of concussions and head trauma from the game -- of which I have never had, yet again, the age and the starting symptoms also freaked me out.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby RobJ on March 1st, 2014, 7:40 am

Not sure I agree that Lou Gehrig didn't have ALS. Occam's Razor, the hypothesis with the least amount of assumptions is usually true......

Beating his head causing motor neuron death is a long shot with lot's of assumptions.

ALS isn't the same for everyone, quite possible, that it lingers for sometime, very slowy, while others get hit like a rock, no different than other disorders, some people can walk with a torn ACL others can not, some people can go to work when they are sick, others can not. Lot's of individuals with ALS 10, 20 even 30 years.

Lou Gehrig had slow deterioration over multiple seasons. He knew something was wrong.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby SecretAgentMan on March 1st, 2014, 9:46 am

InvisibleTwitches wrote:I do agree that -- and trust me, I have made so much progress over the past 3 years from when I first started worry about this, but I need to and want to make more -- my mental health is a vast priority. And I do believe in holistic medicine. Likewise, that sometimes brings me to my next fear: I spent nearly 2 years worrying about this almost day and night; I think about that, and wonder how bad that must have been for my mental health, then I wonder + fear......maybe all that worrying and thinking about ALS will result in me having ALS one day, maybe that will be the cause. It is a savage garden. Yet I have found that Neurofeedback has been of some help for me, and again, I do feel that I am at a much healthier mind-state. Likewise thanks for this.


Don't fall into that trap. Yes it is true that our constant fear and worrying does take its toll on us, but fear and worry are so far on the negative end of the spectrum that they are also very weak. There is almost no power behind them. The only thing that gives them any power is sustaining them over long periods of time. And you are now somewhat worried that you have sustained them for long periods of time now right? Well, all it takes is a short period of time in the positive end of the spectrum to reverse a very long time spent in the negative end of the spectrum. That is because the positive emotions have a great deal more power behind them. Just like Huey Lewis sang about 'The Power of Love'. He wasn't kidding. :)

If you want a good read on the differences in the power behind our emotions I recommend Dr. David Hawkins' book 'Power Vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants in Human Behavior'. It will make a lot of sense if you read it. Just for a quick reference though here is an example from his book below. Notice how the entire bottom half of the emotional scale only goes up to 200. The positive end of the scale goes from 200 up to 1000. According to this love is 5X more powerful than fear. You don't just benefit from your own positive attitude but from that of others around you too. You benefit from those who love and care about you as well. There is quite a bit of science to back this up too, believe it or not. So, once again rest assured that the universe is incredibly biased towards the positive.

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Re: New York Times Article

Postby InvisibleTwitches on March 3rd, 2014, 12:58 pm

SecretAgentMan,

Thank you, I will check that book out!! I know I am making progress because before I was even afraid to read up on such things, but, no longer! :D


There is almost no power behind them. The only thing that gives them any power is sustaining them over long periods of time. And you are now somewhat worried that you have sustained them for long periods of time now right? Well, all it takes is a short period of time in the positive end of the spectrum to reverse a very long time spent in the negative end of the spectrum.


Well, I hope my 2 years of near constant worry and fear from the ages of 24 to 26 are outweighed by the years of happiness and laid-back, carefree lifestyle, which would make the score 25>2, and I hope that is the case! Again, I do fear those 2 years of fear, I fear that that constant mind-state perhaps changed chemicals in my brain, changed certain connections, brainwaves, all for the worse, and it is hard for me to shake it. I need to check out that book, and thank you for the suggestion!

Lastly, this has been a scary thing to read this morning -- yet I am trying to keep it in perspective:

ALS isn't the same for everyone, quite possible, that it lingers for sometime, very slowy, while others get hit like a rock, no different than other disorders, some people can walk with a torn ACL others can not, some people can go to work when they are sick, others can not. Lot's of individuals with ALS 10, 20 even 30 years.

Lou Gehrig had slow deterioration over multiple seasons. He knew something was wrong.


YIKES :( :( :( :cry: :shock: I had no idea......
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby J4son on March 3rd, 2014, 2:55 pm

RobJ wrote:Not sure I agree that Lou Gehrig didn't have ALS. Occam's Razor, the hypothesis with the least amount of assumptions is usually true......


Nobody will ever know since Lou Gehrig was incinerated and his body cannot be recovered for autopsy. But since some scientists are questioning the ALS diagnosis in young professional athletes with a history of head trauma due to some chemicals found in their spinal cords that are different from what is usually seen in ALS patients, and since Gherig was a young professional athlete with a history of concussions and head trauma, I would say that the Occam’s Razor should push us to consider him similar to the nowadays cases of young athletes. If someday it is proven that these young athletes have a form of encephalopathy that mimics ALS, it would become very likely to consider Gherig to have been suffering from the same illness.

RobJ wrote:Lou Gehrig had slow deterioration over multiple seasons. He knew something was wrong.


No he didn’t have slow deterioration over several seasons. Lou Gheirg was already in his mid-thirty, so it was normal that his performance was slowly declining from a season to another. Although his performance in 1938 was inferior to 1937, his final 1938 statistics were still above average, and his performance in the second half of the 1938 season was even better than in the first half. He complained of fatigue in 1938 but not of weakness, and nothing proves that it was linked to ALS.

The first obvious signs that something was clearly wrong with him (and it was obvious to everybody including the press, his coaches and colleagues) happened in February or March 1939. Then everything went very quickly. In May he couldn’t play and asked to be benched and a few weeks later in June he was officially diagnosed at the Mayo clinic.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby RobJ on March 3rd, 2014, 10:51 pm

watch the a&e bio about his life then debate.
symptoms occurred earlier than this site and others lead u to believe. every person is different.
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby InvisibleTwitches on March 4th, 2014, 12:33 pm

That is news to me --- very very very alarming news! :(


:(
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Re: New York Times Article

Postby MarioMangler on March 4th, 2014, 12:38 pm

Why is that alarming? It has no relationship to you.
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2. No, the location doesn't matter
3. Yes, we have all had that symptom
4. No, you're not the exception
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Re: New York Times Article

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