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Home > Serving in the Military Poses 60% Higher Risk for ALS

Serving in the Military Poses 60% Higher Risk for ALS

by | Mar 21, 2019

For decades, researchers have been searching for correlations that may give insight into what causes ALS. While the direct cause remains elusive, there have been interesting findings over the years that could possibly bring us closer to a cure.

The ALS Association has released a new report highlighting the prevalence of ALS among military service members. In the 2019 ALS in the Military report, it was found that those who have served in the military are at a nearly 60% greater risk of developing ALS than those who have no history of military service. In addition, the data shows that ALS is connected to military service regardless of the branch of service or whether serving during peacetime or in war.

The report compiled findings from research conducted from the early 1990’s up until recent years with one of these studies examining  military members going back as far as 1910.  Finally in 2008, after many studies and decades of research,  the Department of Veterans Affairs established ALS as a service-connected disease. Since then, the average number of veterans living with ALS has increased by a staggering 30 percent.

“Study after study has shown that our military heroes are more likely to develop ALS, which is why it is critical that Congress fully funds the ALS Research Program at the Department of Defense, as well as research at the National Institutes of Health,” said Calaneet Balas, president and CEO of The ALS Association.

We’ve made strides and progress but we need more support to fund research that could help both veterans and non-veterans alike. ALS is a devastating disease but with your help, we’re well on our way to a deeper understanding and possibility of a cure.

How ALS Patients Can Help

Once you’ve been diagnosed with ALS, it’s easy to feel like you just don’t have many options, but there are ways you can make a difference.

How You Can Help People With ALS

We all have a part to play in the fight against ALS! Your generous support funds critical research for better treatments and a cure for this disease. Here are a few ways you can help: