ALS Ice Bucket Challenge encourages innovative research
ALS is one of the most crippling and debilitating diseases. It damages the nerves in the body, degenerating the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. People with ALS gradually lose all muscle function, becoming paralyzed and dying within a few years of diagnosis.
"The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled The ALS Association to invest in Project MinE's work to create large biorepositories of ALS biosamples that are designed to allow exactly this kind of research and to produce exactly this kind of result," Dr. Lucie Bruijn, chief scientist at the ALS Association, said.
More than 6,000 people living in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS every year. An estimated 20,000 Americans could have ALS at any given moment.
"Global collaboration among scientists, which was really made possible by ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations, led to this important discovery," Dr. John Landers, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, said. "It is a prime example of the success that can come from the combined efforts of so many people, all dedicated to finding the causes of ALS. This kind of collaborative study is -- more and more -- where the field is headed."
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