‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ Cash Leads to Breakthrough ALS Discovery

Photo by unguryanu / Shutterstock.com

It turns out viral videos are good for more than just mindless entertainment.

Viral videos of celebrities getting soaked by pails of ice-cold water in 2014 have helped lead to a scientific breakthrough, the ALS Association announced this week.

Research funded in part by donations from the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has identified a new ALS gene, NEK1. This discovery gives scientists another potential target for developing treatments for ALS, which stands for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

The study, published in the journal Nature Genetics, was conducted by researchers who are part of a genetic sequencing effort called Project MinE. It was the largest-ever study of inherited ALS, involving contributions from more than 80 researchers in 11 countries.

Co-lead researcher John Landers of the University of Massachusetts Medical School writes in an article on the ALS Association’s website:

Since Project MinE received a $1 million grant from The ALS Association in the wake of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, we were able to expand our operation significantly. Your support has made a profound impact!

ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease after the famous baseball player who brought national attention to the progressive neurodegenerative disease before it took his life.

ALS affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, leading to loss of control over muscle movement, paralysis and eventually death, according to the ALS Association.

Charity Navigator gives the ALS Association four out of four stars, while CharityWatch gives the association an “A-” rating.

To learn more about how to evaluate nonprofits, check out “6 Tips to Donate to Charity the Smart Way.”

Does this news make you more likely to donate to other similar “viral” campaigns? Share your thoughts with us below or over on our Facebook page.

How to earn $30 in less than 30 seconds

Earn extra money by using Rakuten (formerly known as Ebates) — a site that gets you cash back at more than 2,500 stores. As a bonus for joining Rakuten between now and Aug. 6, 2020, you'll earn $30 when you spend at least $30 shopping online through Rakuten within the first 90 days. Start earning cash back and claim a free $30 bonus today.

Read Next
7 Reasons You Should Change Careers After Age 50
7 Reasons You Should Change Careers After Age 50

Many older workers have the energy and experience to make a successful career change.

These 5 Laptops Have the Best Battery Life
These 5 Laptops Have the Best Battery Life

Need a laptop that runs as long as you do? Check out these models.

7 Secret Perks of Individual Retirement Accounts
7 Secret Perks of Individual Retirement Accounts

IRAs come with bells and whistles that many other savings and investment accounts lack — including some that you may not know exist.

These Are the 9 Best Benefits of Amazon Prime
These Are the 9 Best Benefits of Amazon Prime

These top-notch perks of an Amazon Prime membership won’t cost you a dime extra.

Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State
Here’s the Average Retirement Age in Your State

Are you on track to retire at the same age as most residents of your state?

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?
Will I Get My Ex-Husband’s Social Security When He Dies?

Two factors determine how much money is coming to you.

10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most
10 States Where COVID-19 Threatens Seniors the Most

No state is immune from the coronavirus. But statistics show that some places are especially dangerous for older residents.

7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast
7 Ways to Boost Your Credit Score Fast

Your financial security might soon depend upon the strength of your credit score.

20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling
20 Things That Are Actually Worth Stockpiling

You probably don’t need a year’s supply of toilet paper to survive an outbreak, but consider stocking up on these items.

5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus
5 Household Disinfectants That Can Destroy the Coronavirus

You likely already have some of these products at home.

22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store
22 Things You Should Always Buy at a Dollar Store

The dollar store has great bargains on these purchases.

6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman
6 Reasons I Will Never Trust Suze Orman

Beware: The self-proclaimed personal finance expert has a track record that suggests more sizzle than steak.

America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise
America’s Most Reliable Appliance Brand Is a Surprise

Have you heard of this appliance manufacturer?

The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do
The Top 11 Jobs That Employers Want Retirees to Do

Tired of age discrimination? Businesses are clamoring for older workers to fill certain roles.

9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus
9 Things That Are Cheaper Due to the Coronavirus

The pandemic has a silver lining.

This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked
This Type of Social Security Benefit Is Often Overlooked

The Social Security Administration is not helping certain people get money to which they are entitled, a report says.

9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline
9 Everyday Problems You Can Solve With Vaseline

Forget expensive specialty products. Good ol’ petroleum jelly can address many common annoyances.

19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret
19 Purchases That Buyers Almost Always Regret

Think twice before buying these things.

7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile
7 Tips for Building an Emergency Stockpile

A pandemic or natural disaster could leave you reliant on your existing food supply. Is your pantry prepared?

19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree
19 High-Paying Jobs You Can Get With a 2-Year Degree

These jobs pay more than the typical job in the U.S. — and no bachelor’s degree is required.

8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store
8 of the Worst Things to Buy at a Dollar Store

Not everything sold at dollar stores is a great bargain or a safe purchase. Here’s our list of products to avoid.

41 Things You Should Never Buy
41 Things You Should Never Buy

Some purchases are just plain dumb. Give yourself — and your budget — a break. Don’t spend money on this stuff.

Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia
Getting These 2 Shots Could Reduce Your Risk of Dementia

These vaccines may lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease by up to 40%.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.