The Ice Bucket Challenge Helped Find a New ALS Gene

August 12, 2016

It's been two years since the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral.  And all that ice water we dumped on ourselves is paying off . . .

The ALS Association just announced that a gene called NEK1 might be what causes the disease.  And the Ice Bucket Challenge is directly responsible, because it raised over $220 million for ALS research, and that's what paid for the study.

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts worked with researchers in ten other countries, and sequenced the genomes of more than 15,000 people with ALS.

And they were basically able to figure out that people with ALS are more likely to have problems with that specific gene, which cause it to stop working like it should.

There was also a story last year, where researchers at Johns Hopkins said a protein called TDP-43 might be involved too.  And this is actually the third gene researchers have discovered because of money from the Ice Bucket Challenge.

But what makes this study unique is the lead researcher actually HAS the disease.

Just to be clear, they're still not talking about a cure at this point.  But they think it's another major step that might eventually LEAD to one.