Almost two years ago, the Ice Bucket Challenge filled social media feeds with videos and ALS research with donations.  The Challenge prompted athletes, celebrities, Internet personalities, and everyday people to post a video and donate to ALS research.  This year, funds raised from the Challenge are being credited with allowing researchers to identify a common gene found to contribute to the disease.

ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease affecting the function of nerves and muscles that eventually leads to a wasting paralysis.  Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis affects 30,000 Americans with the condition at any given time, and 5600 are newly diagnosed each year. ALS kills an average of two out of every 100,000 people annually.

With the help of millions raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge a global gene sequencing project called Project MinE has taken a huge step in finding a common gene that is responsible for ALS.  The project sequenced

Read more

Chances are you have at least seen a video on your social network of choice of someone you may know dumping ice water over their heads, or possibly even posted one. The “Ice Bucket Challenge” has become a mainstream phenomena and significantly raised awareness for those suffering from the chronic illness ALS. Donations have also been on the rise, with the ALS Association reporting over 7 times the amount donated in just the past three weeks compared to the same time period last year. With 260,000 new donors already, the number is expected to continue to climb.

What Is ALS?

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and is often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” after the New York Yankee first baseman who retired due to the illness in 1939 and died two years later. Today, 20% survive more than five years after diagnosis, with 5% living 20 years; physicist Stephen Hawking has lived for over 50 years since his diagnosis. Early symptoms include muscle weakness and stiffness, and

Read more