The Ice Bucket Challenge just Funded an ALS Breakthrough

How's that for "slacktivism"

The viral campaign that you probably took part in two years ago did some good! Project MinE, a large-scale researching initiative devoted to researching and curing ALS, identified the gene NEK1 which could begin laying the foundation for further research and a potential treatment.

Brian Frederick, executive vice-president of communications and development at the ALS Association spoke to The Guardian about the significance of the discovery:

“It helps us understand what’s triggering this and can help us better find a treatment,” though he added that, “it’s still very early in our understanding of this particular gene, and we still have a ways to go with understanding ALS generally.”

In the summer of 2014, thousands took to pouring buckets of iced water over their heads and nominating their friends to do the same, all in support of raising awareness and funds for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) research. Sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, the rapidly progressive, neurological disease attacks human nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling muscle actions in your legs, arms and face. The cause is still unknown in almost 95% of all cases and affects 1 in 400 people.

ALS Association’s total donations surpassed the $100 million mark in just 30 days of summer 2014, five times the amount they received just the year before.


(Photo: Anthony Quintano)