Major Breakthroughs in ALS research thanks to Ice Bucket Challenge

Major Breakthroughs in ALS research thanks to Ice Bucket Challenge

More than 17-million people rose to the ALS Ice Bucket challenge last year, getting cold and wet in the name of charity. From celebrity athletes to friends on Facebook, people challenged one another to either dump ice water over their head, or donate money to ALS research.

Regardless if the challenge was accepted or not, the exposure to ALS was invaluable.

Now, doctors across the country credit the challenge for helping them make major advances in research.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins University say some of that money has helped them better understand a protein in the brain, which is dysfunctional in nearly all ALS cases. The team is led by Professor Philip Wong, who got dunked in ice water just last week.

“It really spearheaded some of the research that otherwise we would not be able to do as rapidly as we could have,” said Wong.

When the Ice Bucket Challenge started last summer, the ALS Association collected $115-million in less than two months. That’s a 2,200 percent increase from 2013.

With the success of the first challenge, round two is already in the works.

Supporters of the Ice Bucket Challenge say their new motto is, “Every August until a cure.”

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