ALS usually strikes in late middle age (the average age of onset in the United States and Europe is between 56 and 63) or later, although ALS also affects younger adults and even children, as well as very elderly people. Some genetic forms of ALS have their onset in youth.
Men are somewhat more likely to develop ALS than are women. Studies suggest an overall ratio of about 1.5 men to every woman who develops the disorder in Western countries. In younger-onset patients, there seems to be a greater male predominance.
Genetic factors are involved in the cause of ALS, and the disease can run in families. ALS is “familial” (that is, there is more than one case in a family) about 5 to 10
percent of the time. The other 90 to 95 percent of the time, it is “sporadic” (that is, there is no family history of the disease).
For years, experts have tried to find factors common to people who develop ALS, such as environmental toxins, occupational hazards, places of work or residence, and so forth. So far, the evidence for such risk factors and triggers has been frustratingly unclear, although the finding of an association between developing ALS and having
served in the Gulf War in the early 1990s has indicated one of the strongest of these proposed risk factors.
So I’m an oddball statistically, yay! And because of all of the variables between patients, everyone’s journey is different which is why it’s crucial to share the effects of ALS. It’s going to take all of us to find a cure.
NOTE: 2017 DATES