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NFL, union team up to help former players with ALS

NEW YORK -- The NFL and NFL Players Association have agreed to provide financial assistance to former players who have Lou Gehrig's disease.

The disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord, also called ALS, is being added to the "88 Plan," which was started in 2006 to help ex-players diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. In August, scientists funded in part by the NFL said they found evidence connecting head injuries in athletes to a condition that mimics Lou Gehrig's disease.

The plan provides up to $88,000 a year for institutional care and up to $50,000 for home custodial care, plus costs for certain doctor care, medical equipment and medication.

The NFL says the "88 Plan" has awarded $9.7 million to 132 former players.

Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press

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