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Dr. Stanley Appel appointed to distinguished endowed chair for ALS research, treatment

Houston, TX - 6/7/2006

Dr. Stanley H. Appel, chairman of neurology and co-founder of the Methodist Neurological Institute (NI), has been appointed to the Peggy and Gary Edwards Distinguished Endowed Chair for the Treatment and Research of ALS. Appel is director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA)/ALS Clinical and Research Center at the Methodist NI.

The Edwards established the $1 million endowed chair for a physician-scientist who champions the research and treatment of patients with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Gary Edwards’ mother, Jeannette, died from ALS in 1985.

“Dr. Appel demonstrated his compassion for his patients and his commitment to finding a cure for ALS while caring for my mother,” said Edwards, a Methodist board member. “I cannot think of a better way to honor her memory than to support his work. Dr. Appel is obviously committed to finding a cure for this terrible disease.”

“Dr. Appel is truly a model of achievement, and Methodist is privileged to have had him on our medical staff and part of our physician leadership for nearly three decades,” said Ron Girotto, President & CEO of The Methodist Hospital System. “His dedication to finding a cure for this debilitating disease and his compassion for the thousands of patients he treats are a testament to his distinguished career.”

Appel is world-renowned and highly regarded for his research in developing new insights into degenerative neurological diseases, especially for ALS. He has been a leading investigator in ALS and neuromuscular disease for more than 40 years. He is the author of 15 published books and more than 350 articles on topics such as ALS, neuromuscular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease. He has received a number of awards for his accomplishments. Most recently, Appel received the Forbes Norris Award for “compassion and love for humanity in research and treatment in patients with ALS” from the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord which stimulate skeletal muscle movement. As more motor neurons die, muscle weakness gets progressively worse. An estimated 30,000 people throughout the U.S. have ALS, and 8,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

About the Methodist Neurological Institute
The Methodist Neurological Institute houses the practice and research activities of the departments of neurology, neurosurgery and neuroradiology of The Methodist Hospital. The close collaboration between these departments offers patients the most advanced treatment options currently available. The mission of the NI is to advance the discovery of the origins, mechanisms and treatment of neurological disease and to provide comprehensive care for patients with disorders and injuries of the brain and spinal cord.

The Methodist Hospital is one of the nation’s largest private, non-profit general hospitals. Methodist is primarily affiliated with Weill Medical College of Cornell University and New York Presbyterian Hospital. The hospital is also affiliated with the University of Houston.

For more on the Methodist Neurological Institute, visit www.methodistneuroinstitute.com, or call (713) 790-3333.