From Lady Gaga to Trump - ice bucket challenges help fund Motor Neurone Disease breakthrough
Two years ago, videos of the ice bucket challenge filled our social media feeds - but now, the online craze has helped to fund a breakthrough.
Around 17 million people uploaded videos of themselves pouring ice cold water over their heads to encourage donations to the ALS Association in the US and the Motor Neurone Disease Association in the UK.
The ALS Association said that the $115m (£87.7m) raised through the challenge has helped to fund six research projects.
One of the projects at the Massachusetts University Medical School identified the role of a gene called NEK1 in the disease and may now be able to develop a gene therapy to treat it.
Project MinE was the largest ever study of inherited ALS and involved more than 80 researches in 11 countries.
Dr. John Landers, the leader of Project MinE, said in a statement: “Global collaboration among scientists, which was really made possible by ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations, led to this important discovery.
“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.”
Project Mine founder Bernard Muller added:"The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled us to secure funding from new sources in new parts of the world.
"This transatlantic collaboration supports our global gene hunt to identify the genetic drivers of ALS."
Belfast Telegraph Digital