We all remember the ALS Ice Bucket challenge phenom that swept across social media last year. Even presidents got involved in the cause.
Aside from bringing some humor to our Newsfeeds and getting W. and people everywhere soaked, the challenge also led to real results.
The Washington Post reports that over $200 million was raised due to the rapid awareness brought to the disease.
The ALS Association further commented on the success of the video campaign. They said in a statement, "Last year, more than 17 million ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos were posted to Facebook and these videos were watched by 440 million people a total of 10 billion times. More than $220 million was raised globally with $115 million going to The ALS Association."
That money has been used in key research, which has led to some major breakthroughs, including a potential cure and clinical trials.
"About a decade ago, researchers discovered that ALS patients often had clumps of the protein outside the nuclei of their brain cells, but it was unknown whether that was a cause or an effect of the disease," WaPo explained.
With the new funds available, scientists from Johns Hopkins found a protein in cells called TDP-43 which began breaking down and becoming "sticky." When the scientists inserted a new protein to mimic the protein that was breaking down, the cells began to recover and behave normally again.
Due to the success of the ice bucket challenge, some outlets began reporting that the money was not being used to cure the disease. As the official ALS website reports, those stories were false. The money did in fact go toward research.
"The ALS Association spent 79 percent of our annual budget on programs and services last year, which includes 28 percent on research, ONE of three main pillars of our charitable work," they said. They also added that a donor has the option of committing 100 percent of their contribution to research if they like.