Ice Bucket Challenge Helps Scientists Reach Major Breakthrough For ALS

Last summer it was all about the Lou Gehrig’s Disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) ice bucket challenge. Everyone had fun watching so many celebrities do the ice bucket challenge, as well as challenging their friends and family to do the same. Over $220 million was raised last summer and that lump sum has helped make a major breakthrough.

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ALS is a fast-moving progressive neurological disease that causes the death of nerve cells located in the brain and spinal cord. Over 30,000 people in the U.S suffer from ALS and there is no cure for this terrible disease. Those diagnosed with the disease typically die within 2 to 5 years.

Fortunately, the popularity of the ice bucket challenge brought a lot of awareness to this disease. In addition it gave scientists the money they needed to do the much needed research on this disease and because of that they discovered a major breakthrough.

Jonathan Ling and Philip Wong, scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered how a brain protein called TDP-43 that is linked to ALS works. They wouldn’t have done it without the money raised from the ice bucket challenge.