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ALS Therapy Development Institute Delivers Impassioned Testimony to Congressional Subcommittee on Veterans Affairs
Date:4/28/2009

Physician/Scientist Describes a New Challenge Faced by Troops Coming Home from War

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., April 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Stanley Appel testified before theMilitary Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee on behalf of ALS patients, and in support of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI), last Thursday. Dr. Appel urged congress to support a comprehensive approach to ALS therapeutic development, such as the one at ALS TDI.

Dr. Appel spoke on the still unknown reasons for the connection between service in the armed forces and a greater propensity for developing the disease. He advised Subcommittee members to remember that, while there is excellent work being done to determine factors involved in the military correlation, without a comprehensive and well funded program to build therapeutics, there would be no opportunity to treat fallen heroes.

"I am here before this subcommittee -- responsible for supporting our veterans -- because [ALS] continues to take an inordinate toll on our nation's veterans," said Dr. Appel in his prepared testimony before the subcommittee. Dr. Appel, co-director of the Methodist Neurological Institute, has been a physician/scientist for more than 40 years and is a Board Member of ALS TDI, as well as the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

As he began his testimony, Dr. Appel acknowledged the leadership of Congressman Michael Capuano, along with Congressmen Patrick Kennedy, Henry Brown and John Spratt in addressing the need to bring effective therapeutics to market for ALS patients.

In discussing the VA's now closed ALS Registry, Dr. Appel honored its list of servicemen; "While most of those heroes have passed away, the numbers imply that at least one out of fifteen ALS patients has a history of military service. This is quite staggering. These veterans, and all the patients I treat, are facing a ho
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SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Institute
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