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What is ALS?

The ALS Association (ALSA) is the only national not-for-profit voluntary health organization dedicated solely to the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (often called Lou Gehrig's disease). The mission of The ALS Association is to find a cure for and improve living with ALS.
The ALS Association seeks to promote awareness and understanding of ALS and the work of The ALS Association by providing up-to-date information and education materials to the ALS community…ALS patients and families, caregivers, researchers and members in the health care fields.
The ALSA website ( is another component in the delivery of information specific to ALS. Our purpose is to provide accurate and timely information as well as a resource directory pointing to sources of information.
The Association's Principal Activities:
  • To encourage, identify, fund and monitor basic scientific research directed at identifying the cause of, a possible cure for and means to prevent ALS.
  • To be the vital link for patients and their families to information, counseling, physician referrals, in-home visits, respite care and guidance in disease management; to deliver ALSA's programs of support and services for ALS patients, their families and caregivers at the local level.
  • To heighten awareness of the nature of the disease and the efforts of ALSA in order to stimulate volunteerism, scientific and health care community activism, and public support essential to the fight against ALS.
  • To increase awareness of ALS and ALSA in all levels of government in an effort to expand government support of research and elicit programs to make treatments and care accessible and affordable for all ALS patients.