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Author Topic: Freaking Washington Post reignited my ALS fear  (Read 189 times)

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Offline sickofsickness

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Freaking Washington Post reignited my ALS fear
« on: August 24, 2014, 11:37:48 PM »
ALS was already on my mind because of the Ice Bucket challenge, and knowing the guy who inspired it is only in his late twenties surely doesn't help. On my ***** feed I saw a Washington Post article stating "5 Myths About ALS." I probably should have skipped over it, but anyway one of the myths was that "ALS is an old person disease." The article said that's not true because the median age is only 54, and that the age range for ALS is wide an anyone can get it. The article also says the disease isn't that rare, and that 1 out of every 1000 women will die from it (and that EVERYONE will at least know someone with ALS). Every time my ALS fear creeps up (and it always seems to...it's basically as much a part of my yearly routine as taxes), I calm myself down by telling myself that it's rare, but now I have this article telling me it's actually not, and it's bothering me.

I've had this weak feeling in my left leg for a few months now, and this article has successfully reignited my fear.
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Offline thenomnomnomicon

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Re: Freaking Washington Post reignited my ALS fear
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2014, 09:52:58 AM »
1 in 1000? What? Every one knows someone with ALS? Even in the highest risk demographics the most liberal estimations are like, 1 in 5000 and a lot less likely for people generally. Especially women. And I don't know anyone with this disease. Brain tumors are more common and I don't know anyone with brain tumor either.
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Offline ShawnW

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Re: Freaking Washington Post reignited my ALS fear
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2014, 10:05:34 AM »
Yeah, that article is incorrect.  First, the percentage depends on age group.  Second, for women it's actually a slightly lower percentage.  The average is 1 in 50,000.  It's rare enough that most docs get almost nothing about it medical school.
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Offline brittanyborg

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Re: Freaking Washington Post reignited my ALS fear
« Reply #3 on: August 25, 2014, 10:44:30 AM »
That article is beyond wrong. I personally don't know anyone with ALS, do you? Also it's estimated that at any given time only between 30,000 and 50,000 in North America have the disease. The odds are much lower than 1 in 1,000 (that I promise you!)

A lot of the things you read on social media and a lot of the articles you will find links too are completely inaccurate and fake. These articles aren't even properly researched and don't include correct demographic statistics. If you want real information and statistics on ALS (which I'm sure will ease your mind - because it is quite rare) you should check a government website or a medical journal.

You're fine and you don't have ALS  ::)
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Offline fishmanpa

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Re: Freaking Washington Post reignited my ALS fear
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 11:06:33 AM »
I did a little math... in the US for example: 310 Million+ - population - approx. 30K cases. That's a .016% chance of getting it "in your lifetime".  Extrapolate that out and the odds become even less.

This is no different than when Ebola hit the news or some other rare illness comes to the forefront via the media. HA sufferers latch on and it becomes a topic. I've seen what's akin to mass hysteria on anxiety boards concerning things from tingly fingers to nodes to you name it. It's the nature of the Dragon. That best one can do is to look at it as logically as possible in the hopes it will quell the irrational fear.

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