The Ice Bucket Challenge Directly Funded A Major Genetic Breakthrough In ALS Research

Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon and a gathering of famous faces take part in the Ice Bucket Challenge. Douglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

ALS destroys neurons within the central nervous system (CNS), which includes the brain. This causes the connections between the CNS and the body’s muscles to become damaged, which means anyone afflicted by it cannot control their muscles. On average, it causes death within three to four years after its onset.

This condition is currently incurable, although a few recent studies have demonstrated that its progression through the body can at least be halted in mice. Nevertheless, the underlying factors that lead to someone developing ALS are unknown, and only a fraction are linkable to genetic inheritance.

NEK1, for example, is only associated with 3 percent of all diagnoses, which may not sound like much at first. However, according to the ALS Association, around 5,600 people per year are found to have ALS. This means that treating the NEK1 gene successfully will revolutionize the lives of around 168 people every single year – and every single person counts for something.

Any additional funding that these researchers receive helps them to fight for a world without ALS. Despite the Ice Bucket Challenge belonging to the past, hard work developing treatments and a potential cure goes on. If you’d like to donate, you can do so by clicking here.

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Benedict Cumberbatch does the Ice Bucket Challenge. MND Association via YouTube

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