ALS is not considered a rare disease.
- Approximately 2,500 to 3,000 Canadians currently live with ALS
- Two or three Canadians are diagnosed with ALS daily, while another two to three lose their battle with ALS every day
- In Ontario, more than 1,000 people have ALS at any one time.
While these numbers may seem insignificant, ALS is five times more prevalent than Huntington’s disease, four times more prevalent than muscular dystrophy, and has a similar incidence rate as multiple sclerosis. The number of people with ALS is smaller than people with these other neurological diseases because people with ALS often die so rapidly.
According to Dr. Michael Strong, chief of neurology at the University Health Sciences Centre and research scientist at the Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario:
“ALS is clearly the most common cause of neurological death on an annual basis.”
Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that neurological diseases such as ALS will surpass cancer to become the second-leading cause of death in Canada by 2040.