How The Ice Bucket Challenge Has Actually Helped Fund A Medical Breakthrough

How The Ice Bucket Challenge Has Actually Helped Fund A Medical Breakthrough

Finally, social media has helped humankind!

Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? The viral social media campaign that basically encouraged you to pour an entire bucket of iced water over your noggin, all in the name of medical research?

It was a 2014 Facebook phenomenon, and everyone from your mates to Rita Ora was getting Ice Bucket Challenge involved. But, what happened next?

Well believe it or not, the Ice Bucket Challenge has actually helped fund a very important breakthrough in ALS research, one that will help professionals further understand the disease and it’s triggers.

The campaign has helped scientists identify NEK1, a gene that commonly contributes to the disease developing in individuals. Its identification will ultimately help find better treatment and therapies for those suffering from ALS - also known as motor neurone disease or MND.

The Ice Bucket Challenge encouraged people to donate cash post-soaking to the ALS Association, then nominate three pals to then follow suit.

Read More: Celebrity Charity Campaigns

Within weeks, people’s social media feeds were packed with Ice Bucket Challenge vids. Mark Zuckerberg, Lady Gaga, Oprah – all were pledging allegiance to the cause. However following the sensation, many accused participants of ‘slacktivism’, suggesting that particpants were only doing the Ice Bucket Challenge for the glory, rather than a burning desire to help a charitable cause.

This news though, has proved all the haters wrong.

‘Global collaboration among scientists, which was really made possible by ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations, led to this important discovery,’ said John Landers from the University of Massachusetts.

‘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.’

So that’s a collective hurrah for social media. And to celebrate, here are a few of our favourite celebrity Ice Bucket Challenges. You’re welcome.

Accepted!!!! @ryanseacrest @taylorswift my whole team is donating! 💜

A post shared by Selena Gomez (@selenagomez) on

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