The authors carried out an epidemiologic study on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in Sardinia for the years 1957 through 1990. The duration of the disease and survival were significantly shorter in bulbar form. The distribution of ALS in various areas of the island was found to be not at all homogeneous. Mean yearly incidence showed no significant variations in the decades 1971-80 and 1981-90. In the last decade, an increase of bulbar forms was observed.