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Military Veterans Twice as Likely to Develop ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurological disease characterized by progressively debilitating weakness that may lead to an inability to talk, eat, or move independently. From initial onset of symptoms, life expectancy for ALS is approximately 3-5 years. Although ALS was discovered in 1869, much about this disease remains unknown. According to the Mayoclinic, ALS is inherited in 5% to 10% of people. For the rest, the cause isn’t known.

There is now research indicating that military service is a risk factor for developing ALS, but no exact reason has been pinned as a cause. According one Harvard University study cited by the ALS Association, veterans are almost 60% more likely to develop ALS than those who did not serve in the military. Tracking service all the way back to 1910, This and other studies have made it apparent that ALS is more likely in military veterans regardless of the era or branch in which they served, and whether or not it was in a time of war or peace.

In 2008, the Veterans Association (VA) established a presumption of service connection for ALS. As a result, veterans with ALS and their survivors are eligible for “service connected” benefits.

These VA benefits include:

  • Durable medical equipment including power wheelchairs
  • Home alteration grants to improve access around the home
  • In-home Physical therapy
  • Home health aides
  • Monthly compensation


Mind & Mobility is glad to help serve our veterans in any way we can.

For more information, go to the ALS Service Connected Benefits page where the ALS Association has listed benefits for Veterans affected by ALS.

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