Medicine: Gehrig's Disease

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Last June, when 36-year-old Lou Gehrig, the Yankees' "Iron Horse," said good-by to baseball, no insurance company would have considered him a good risk. For Gehrig was benched by a rare, incurable, creeping paralysis known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Last week stout-hearted Lou, now a Manhattan parole commissioner, told reporters: "I'll lick this paralysis thing yet."

Since early February Lou has taken huge quantities of Vitamin E, by mouth and injection. It is still too soon for any perceptible results, but the doctors are cheerful, for five other patients have visibly improved, after long months of treatment.

The vitamin virtues were first reported in the Lancet in January by Dr. Franklin Bicknell of London's Farringdon Dispensary. Last week Neurologist Israel Spanier Wechsler of Mt. Sinai Hospital told a group of noted colleagues that, working independently of Dr. Bicknell, he had cured one man of the supposedly hopeless disease, had got a bedridden woman to walking about her house, had "improved" three other patients.