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PNWU Health Blog

Professor

ALS and the Uncertainty of Genetic Testing

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. 

I hope those words aren’t as familiar to you as they are to me. To many people they are simply a collection of unfamiliar medical terms strung together. For me, they mean the loss of a family.

You may recognize them better if you concentrate on their first letters: ALS. It’s possible that you would have already had an image in your head if I’d instead started with the non-medical term “Lou Gehrig’s disease.” The image in my head harkens back to when I was 14-years-old and my dad was diagnosed with ALS. Unfortunately, that was not the first time I’d heard those letters strung together.

I was familiar with the disease. I knew it as the thing that took away my grandfather’s ability to speak and, eventually, took his life. 

 

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