Learn About ALS

ALS Facts

  • ALS is not contagious.
  • 90% of ALS cases are sporadic. ALS can strike any race or ethnic background, at any age.
  • It is estimated that ALS is responsible for nearly two deaths per hundred thousand population annually. More people die every year of ALS than of Huntington's disease (about 5 times higher) or multiple sclerosis.
  • A little over 5,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans may have the disease at any given time.
  • The life expectancy of an ALS patient averages 2 to 5 years from the time of diagnosis. 20% live longer than 5 years.
  • Approximately 80% of cases begin between the ages of 40 - 70.
  • Recent studies show that military veterans, particularly those deployed during the Gulf War, are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS.
  • The financial cost to families of persons with ALS is exceedingly high. It is estimated that in the advanced stages, care can cost an average of $200,000 a year. Patients' and relatives' entire savings are quickly depleted because of the extraordinary cost involved in the care of ALS patients.
  • Chances are someone you know or love will die from ALS.