Studies are leaning toward the conclusion that military veterans have a higher risk of developing ALS than civilians. In 2008, the Department of Veterans Affairs started setting aside benefits for military servicemen who later developed the disease. ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the nerves in the brain and spinal cord. Think of Lou Gehrig, the baseball player for whom the disease is most closely associated with, or the world-famous astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking.
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