Exercise Better Judgement

Everett Marc Lautin, M.D.

885 Park Avenue

New York, NY 10021

March 2, 2005

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

Re: “An A.L.S. Puzzle On the Soccer Field” by Nicholas Bakalar. March 1, 2005, page 7.

Dear Editor:

Does playing soccer predispose to developing A.L.S? The researchers showed a higher incidence in soccer players, but that does not imply cause and effect. No reasonable mechanism was proposed. Is exercise a risk factor or just soccer? Why did they even look? If one looks at enough entities, correlations will be found by chance. Indeed on the opposite page of the NY Times (page 6) is a short piece, “RISKS: A Hard Run From Parkinson’s,” which shows a much lower incidence of a different neurological condition as a possible benefit of exercise. Shall we exercise, but not on the soccer field?


Everett M. Lautin, M.D.