Does Tap Water Cause Lou Gehrig’s Disease?

For those suffering from ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), or for those who know others who suffer, finding answers about the disease is no easy task. Not only is the disease difficult to diagnose, it also has no known cause or cure. When a recent article from Miller-McClune suggested that tap water might hold some answers about Lou Gehrig’s disease, many were quick to wonder if these findings might be the key to making progress in the fight against ALS.

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The article chronicles the findings of biologist, Sandra Banack, and botanist, Paul Cox, who discovered that Cyanobacteria (a bacteria which “sometimes form symbiotic relationships with other organisms, live in marine and freshwater habitats and even in dried desert crusts”) produces a toxic molecule called beta-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA). The bacteria itself is often found in “blooms” on the surface of lakes or other standing water (many of which feed local drinking water systems) and has been known to wreak havoc on its environment, including killing fish or wildlife.

When the scientists discovered that humans who had passed away from ALS had the toxic molecule BMAA accumulated in the brain, they decided to conduct more studies, many of which indicate that those who live in areas with cyanobacteria-contaminated lakes or other bodies of water may be at more risk for neurodegenerative diseases like Lou Gehrig’s ALS.

While further testing is still needed to solidify this theory, and critics of Cox have questioned his findings, Cox still maintains that, “People need to be very careful about the water they’re drinking.”

At Clearwater Systems , we think the best way to ensure good water all the time is to use quality preventative equipment. If you’re not using water treatment equipment, or would like to understand how well your current equipment is working, contact us to receive a free water analysis.

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