Motor Neuron Disease

Life expectancy


Although the life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, this disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more. More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.

"The doctor who diagnosed me with ALS, or motor neuron disease, told me that it would kill me in two or three years" -Stephen Hawking

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50 years ago, Stephen Hawking was given two to three years to live, when he was just 21 years old. Now, he is 72 years old and has lived more than 35 years with ALS. Statistics show that about 5 percent of ALS patients live for at least 20 years after diagnosis. Hawking just happens to be in that small group of patients who’ve crushed the odds.

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