A comprehensive report
conducted by the National Academies' Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2006 supports the association between service in the U.S. military and increased risk of developing ALS. The IOM was charged with reviewing and evaluating all relevant scientific literature on ALS and veterans. It concluded that there exists "suggestive evidence of an association between military service and later development of ALS." Since 2000, studies have been conducted to assess the ALS incidence rate in Gulf War veterans. Most notably, a study jointly funded by the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the US Department of Defense concluded that those deployed in the first Gulf War (1990-1991) were twice as likely to develop ALS as their non-deployed counterparts, and potentially, at younger ages. Air Force veterans, it determined, faced the highest risk, at 2.7 times that of those not serving. In 2005, The Harvard School of Public Health broadened the case for ALS's military relevance. Its epidemiological study
found that men with a history of any military service in the last century were nearly 60% more likely to die of ALS than men in the general population. In July 2008, in response to the evidence, Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dr. James B. Peake announced that ALS is to be considered a presumptively compensable illness for all veterans with 90 days or more of continuously active service in the military.