March 10, 2008
O.J. Brigance remembers the 2001 Super Bowl like it was yesterday, when he charged down the field for the Ravens and collided with a kick returner for the first tackle of the game. Now, everyday activities like eating are as challenging as his old workouts. Picking up a fork these days feels like lifting more than a hundred pounds of weights. Brigance, 38, was diagnosed in May 2007 with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, a progressive and fatal disease that shuts down nerve cells responsible for movement.
August 2, 2007
I cannot take statin-type drugs. Is there a natural way to get triglycerides down? Triglycerides have just been shown to increase the risk of heart attacks (Journal of the American Medical Association, July 18). Fish oil is a natural way to lower this risk factor for heart disease. I have been fascinated with letters from people reporting that Lipitor weakened their muscles. I believe Lipitor triggered my ALS. Until last month, my doctors wouldn't listen to me, but then a report from the World Health Organization showed a link.
May 28, 2005
Ralph V. Mitzel, a retired Pennsylvania Railroad freight conductor and woodworker, died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - Lou Gehrig's disease - Wednesday at a daughter's home in Crestview, Fla. He was 88 and formerly a longtime Hampden resident. Mr. Mitzel was born in Baltimore into a family of railroaders and raised on Keswick Road in Hampden. His father had been president of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, and an older brother had been a Pennsy passenger conductor. Mr. Mitzel attended City College, and in 1933 was hired by the railroad.
January 7, 2005
A common antibiotic used to treat skin and lung infections may prolong the lives and ease the symptoms of patients with Lou Gehrig's disease and other neurological ailments, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. Scientists from the Hopkins medical school reported in the journal Nature this week that injections of ceftriaxone increased survival rates of mice genetically engineered with Lou Gehrig's disease, known scientifically as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. The prescription drug also delayed the nerve damage and loss of muscle function that are common symptoms of ALS. Although results with laboratory animals are often difficult to duplicate in humans, the findings indicate that ceftriaxone contains some ingredient with the potential to treat not only ALS, but also other neurological disorders, including dementia and epilepsy, the researchers say. "What it means is, there's a whole class of drugs out there that we may be able to use in new ways," said Dr. Jeffrey Rothstein, lead author of the paper.
July 27, 2004
Ruxton Pharmaceuticals, a local bioscience start-up focusing chiefly on finding a treatment for Lou Gehrig's disease, has secured $5.2 million in a first round of private funding, including $1.7 million from venture capital giant New Enterprise Associates, Ruxton and NEA announced yesterday. At a time when the Baltimore region is working to build up its biotech sector, executives say yesterday's deal underscore's the area's bioscience strengths: Ruxton will be locally based and has licensed technology developed by a prominent Johns Hopkins researcher, while the Menlo Park, Calif.
July 13, 2004
Peggy Lou Compton, a retired Social Security Administration employee and avid traveler, died Wednesday of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis --Lou Gehrig's disease -- at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. She was 67. Born in Parkersburg, W.Va., the former Peggy Lou Barringer was raised in Akron, Ohio, where she graduated from high school in 1954. She married Gary Compton in 1959, and they moved to the Baltimore area in 1967. They lived in Ellicott City for 15 years. The marriage ended in divorce.