Association Facts

About ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modestly extends survival. However, ALS advoactes, like you, help The ALS Association fulfill its mission to create a world without ALS.


  • ALS stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and is also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease
  • Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS, and every 90 minutes someone loses their battle to this fatal disease
  • ALS affects voluntary muscle movement, rendering its victims unable to speak, swallow, move, and, eventually, breathe
  • Today, it is estimated that 30,000 Americans are living with the disease
  • The average life span after diagnosis is 2-5 years; 20% live longer than 5 years; 10% live longer than 10 years; and 5% survive 20 years with ALS
  • Military veterans are twice as likely as the general population to die from ALS
  • Living with ALS can cost more than $200,000 per year
  • There is no known cause nor cure for ALS

Learn more about ALS

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About The ALS Association

The ALS Association is the only national nonprofit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships. The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure.

ALS Association Mission

OUR VISION | Create a world without ALS

OUR MISSION | Leading the fight to treat and cure ALS through global research and nationwide advocacy while also empowering people with Lou Gehrig’s Disease and their families to live fuller lives by providing them with compassionate care and support.

Learn more about our Chapter's services