ALS ice bucket challenge funds lead to research breakthrough

The ALS Foundation that brought the world the Ice bucket challenge to raise funds for Motor Neuron disease research is reporting a breakthrough.

The research study funded by money collected from the global ice bucket challenge, has identified a new gene, NEK1, that ranks among the most common genes that contribute to ALS.

The ALS Association explain how this genetic research will have a big impact on understanding and beginning to find a cure for the disease.

What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease (MND)? Here are some facts from the ALS Association:

  • fatal, rapidly progressive disease that affects the brain and spinal cord
  • attacks nerves that control movement so muscles refuse to work (sensory nerves are not usually affected)
  • can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk and eventually, breathe
  • affects people from all communities
  • scientist Stephen Hawking is best-known person with the disease
  • kills around a third of people within a year of diagnosis and more than half within two years
  • until now, there is no known cure

The ALS Association are convinced that the discovery of NEK1 through Project MinE’s large, global collaborative effort will bring us a step closer to finding a treatment and cure for ALS.

And here is one of the most famous ice bucket challenges that helped raise the money, that of Bill Gates.


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