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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Message Board

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Family Links: How Many Persons In Your Extended Family Have ALS Or A Similar / Related Disease??

I am curious as to genetic links and links between similar diseases. My paternal grandfather died of ALS at 42 years old.

Have you heard of or experienced possible links between diseases like ALS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, MD, MS, Cystic Fibrosis, Genetic Disorders, Fibromyalgia, Neurological Disorders, Mental Disorders, Autism, or others?

Thank you in advance.

[This message has been edited by Anonymity (edited 02-05-2003).]
Thank you for your reply! I know the links between diseases are probably few and far between and buried within family histories, but I feel it is worth discussing anyway.

My paternal grandfather died of ALS at 41; he was diagnosed at 32. Yes, I realize that's an incrediblely long time for a person to have ALS and extremely a-typical. My grandfather underwent a lot of experimental treatments and tried various techniques. Somehow, he extended his life expectancy well beyond that of the average ALS patient, especially in 1958, when he was diagnosed.

Anyway, on to the links between diseases, which is the topic of my post. (I am easily distracted :) ). My grandfather's niece has fibromyalgia, as do I. These seem to be the only two diseases with any possible links... on that side of the family. Thus, if my family consisted only of my paternal grandfather's side, I would not think further.

However, when my paternal grandmother's side and my maternal grandmother and grandfather's sides are factored in, I begin to wonder what combinations made my family members who they are. To be more specific, I have family members (not necessarily immediate) who have or had an aortal aneurysm, rheumotoid arthritis, lung and colon cancers, uterine and breast fibroid tumors, alzheimer's disease, severe allergies, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, and other diseases. Mental weaknesses (ie. OCD, bipolar, social phobia, etc.) also seem to plague my family.

Perhaps everyone's family is like this?? I just wonder what combination of genes caused my fibromyalgia or whether it was a fluke. I also wonder what the introduction of a new gene pool (my fiance's) will/could cause in our children.

I guess this is just an outlet for the thoughts that occasionally plague me as I wonder how polluted my gene pool is compared to the average person's and whether having children (which I really want someday) would be wise.

Thanks for listening. :)

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