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Home > Topics > Health > ALS

ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease);
Support research to find a cure.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a rapidly progressive and fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells and causes loss of muscle control. When motor neurons can no longer send impulses to the muscles due to ALS, the muscles begin to waste away (atrophy), causing increased muscle weakness. Eventually, most muscles are affected, including those of the legs, feet, arms and hands, and those that control swallowing and breathing, resulting in death within 3 to 5 years from diagnosis. Because ALS affects only motor neurons, the disease does not impair a person's mind, personality, intelligence, or memory, nor does it affect a person's ability to see, smell, taste, hear, or recognize touch.

There are no known causes of ALS, and no known cure. Researchers have studied environmental factors, dietary deficiencies, and traumas, but to date, there is insufficient evidence to identify any one cause of ALS. In recent years, there has been a wealth of new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease, but more research is required if we are to find treatments and a cure for ALS.

ALS is not a rare disease. Today, 30,000 Americans have ALS, and 8,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. Use the resources below to learn what you can do to support ALS research and to help find a cure for this most debilitating of diseases.

 Facts About ALS
  • 50% of ALS patients die within 18 months of diagnosis.
  • 80% of ALS patients die within 5 years of diagnosis.
  • 10% live more than 10 years.
  • ALS occurs in all races and all around the world.
  • Men get ALS more than women (1.5 to 1.0 ratio.)
  • After the age of 60 the ratio of men to women is nearly 1 to 1.
  • The incidence of ALS is 2 per 100,000.
  • The prevalence of ALS is 11 per 100,000.
  • The average age of onset is 55 years.
  • 80% of ALS cases begin between the ages of 40 to 70.
  • People diagnosed with ALS between the ages of 20 and 40 have a higher chance of surviving for 5 years.
Source: ALS Survival Guide


Make A Donation
Support the charities that are working to find a cure for ALS.

Donate to one of the organizations below, or search for another related charity.

Project A.L.S.
Finding and funding treatments and a cure for ALS.
Donate

ALS Association
Working to find a cure for & improve living with ALS.
Donate

ALS Hope Foundation
Financial support for research to cure ALS.
Donate

ALS March Of Faces
Increasing public awareness of ALS.
Donate

ALS Recovery Foundation
Promoting a search for the cure of ALS.
Donate

ALS Therapy Development Foundation
Developing & delivering effective treatments for people living with ALS.
Donate

Center for Neurologic Study
Helping patients and their families overcome neurologic diseases.
Donate

Foundation for Neurologic Diseases
Dedicated to finding the causes of and providing treatments for diseases that destroy brain function.
Donate

Les Turner Amyothropic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation
Research and support services for patients & families living with ALS.
Donate

Muscular Dystrophy Association
Working to conquer neuromuscular diseases that affect more than a million American adults and children.
Donate

Robert Packard Foundation for ALS Research
Research & funding of programs specializing in the treatment of ALS.
Donate

Jack Orchard ALS Foundation
Sowing hope through science and service.
Donate

Be A Volunteer
Help fight ALS. Donate your time to raise funds or support ALS services near you.

Volunteer with one of these organizations, or search for other opportunities.

Project A.L.S.
Learn how you can set up a community fundraiser.
Volunteer

ALS Association
Walk to D'Feet ALS
Volunteer

ALS Hope Foundation
Donate your hands and your time.
Volunteer

ALS March Of Faces
Volunteer for the ALS March of Faces Extreme Challenge.
Volunteer

ALS Therapy Development Foundation
Run a fundraising or awareness event.
Volunteer

Extra Hands for ALS
Provide non-medical assistance to people with ALS.
Volunteer

Les Turner Amyothropic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation
Use your talents to benefit the ALS community.
Volunteer

Muscular Dystrophy Association
Help with summer camp, support groups, seminars, and other special events.
Volunteer

Get Involved
Learn more about ALS and what you can do to get involved with the resources below.

ALS Survival Guide
Resources, links, and information about ALS.
Get Involved

Focus on ALS
Details about ALS.
Get Involved

International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations on the Internet
Forum for information about ALS.
Get Involved

Les Turner Amyothropic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation
Support public policy changes at the local, state and federal levels.
Get Involved

New Hopes and Challenges
A manual for patients, families, and friends
Get Involved

University of Miami ALS Clinic and Research Center
Advanced research into ALS, its causes, & its treatment.
Get Involved

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