The most common form of ALS is called sporadic ALS, meaning the disease can affect anyone regardless of gender, ethnicity or age—although it most often affects people between the ages of 40 and 60.
The other type of ALS is called familial ALS, which means it is capable of being passed from a parent to his or her child. Approximately 5 to 10% of ALS cases are familial.
Regardless of whether someone has sporadic or familial ALS, 30% of all people with the disease have a form referred to as Bulbar ALS. In the early stages of Bulbar ALS, the motor neurons in the corticobulbar area of the brainstem are the first to be affected. This means that the muscles of the head, face and neck become paralyzed before muscles in other parts of the body. Learn more.
ALS is often confused with Multiple Sclerosis and Muscular Dystrophy. Learn about the differences.