There may be a link between Lou Gehrig's disease, a neurological disorder that slowly paralyzes and then kills its victims, and keeping household pets, especially small dogs, doctors said.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig's disease since it claimed the New York Yankees slugger's life, could be caused by a virus transmitted from animals to humans, doctors wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. Theey emphasized that the association has not been proven.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found that 93 percent of patients with the disorder had pets, an association they said "warrants further investigation." Seventy-two percent had small dogs at least 10 years before contracting Gehrig's disease; 33 percent of a control group had pet dogs early in life. Nerve Disease May Be Linked to Pets

BOSTON--There may be a link between Lou Gehrig's disease, a neurological disorder that slowly paralyzes and then kills its victims, and keeping household pets, especially small dogs, doctors said.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig's disease since it claimed the New York Yankees slugger's life, could be caused by a virus transmitted from animals to humans, doctors wrote in the New England Journal of Medicine. They emphasized that the association has not been proven.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York found that 93 percent of patients with the disorder had pets, an association they said "warrants further investigation." Seventy-two percent had small dogs at least 10 years before contracting Gehrig's disease; 33 percent of a control group had pet dogs early in life.