ALS Consortium of Epidemiologic Studies (ACES)

Epidemiology of ALS Overview

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is the most common motor neuron disease. The pathologic hallmark of ALS is the selective death of motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord that innervate skeletal muscles, with clinical symptoms of progressive weakness, muscle wasting and spasticity. The incidence of ALS is greater in men than in women, with overall annual incidence in developed countries ranging from 0.6-2.6 per 100,000. ALS onset occurs most often in the 5th through 7th decades of life, although cases in young adults and elderly persons are well recognized. There are no treatments that definitively alter the course of this devastating disease, and median survival after clinical onset is 2-3 years. The causes of ALS are unknown, and the apparent selectivity for motor neurons remains unexplained. Expertise in designing and validating epidemiologic risk factor questionnaires is critical for the future success of ALS epidemiologic research. Standardized data collection efforts across studies are the most vital research priority for the future and this is a goal of the ACES consortium.

Literature Review: Descriptive Epidemiologic Studies of ALS

Literature Review: Investigations of environmental risk factors

Literature Review: Investigations of genetic risk factors

Literature Review: Investigations of lifestyle risk factors

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