The challenge dares nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. The nominated participants have 24hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.
The donations will be used to conduct more research and studies to fight and find cure for the said disease. The ALS Association is very grateful for the outpouring support all over the world.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a Motor neurone disease (MND) which is a rare group of neuro-degenerative conditions, which affect the motor systems of the brain and spinal cord.
As a result voluntary muscle activity including speaking, walking, breathing, swallowing and general movement of the body is weakened over time.
There are five recognized types of MND including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - which in America is often called Lou Gehrig's disease after a baseball player who died from the disease, primary lateral sclerosis, progressive muscular atrophy, progressive bulbar palsy and pseudobular palsy. And they all involve degeneration of the motor neurones and wasting of the muscles that causes progressive weakness.
The symptoms begin gradually and usually start on one side of the body and gradually get worse over time. Weakness in the muscle is the most noticeable early sign which is common in the 60% of people diagnosed with ALS.
Other symptoms may include like a weakened grip,that can lead to difficulty in picking up or holding objects, weakness at the shoulder, dragging of the leg and slurred speech. This condition is not normally painful but as the damage to the muscles and nerves increases it becomes more and more debilitating and can eventually lead to a person being unable to move and soon find communicating, swallowing and breathing difficult.
While there is no cure for this disease the treatment that is available focuses on slowing the progression and preventing the complications of the disease making it more comfortable for the patient.
The association has also committed in funding significant research milestone like the groundbreaking discovery of a genetic abnormality that is the most common known cause of ALS up to date. The recent exciting finding involved in the familial ALS that show how two proteins work together to buttress the survival of motor neurons. The discovery of the ALS gene, SOD1 which is responsible for the 20% of all inherited ALS cases. The discovery of ALS6 in 2009 that is responsiblr for the 5% of all inherited ALS cases and the first clinical trial of ISIS-SOD1, a new drug that specifically targets the SOD1 gene.
The ice bucket challenge became a popular culture in social media as fun as everyday there were millions of videos posted online participating in the challenge. Because of this campaign the awareness and the funding of ALS research became more popular and charitable donations all over the world soared.
Amidst the arising popularity of the ALS ice bucket challenge is a question whether accepting the challenge is promoting the awareness to ALS or promoting oneself and just going with the flow of fame since a lot of celebrities and powerful people around the world accepted the challenge.
It has been criticized as self-congratulatory since it merely focuses on having fun than donating money to the charity. Some videos posted online especially those involving th presence of celebrities forget about campaigning for the awareness of ALS.
Some nominated names also refuses to avoid the challenge like the retired professional wrestler Lance Storm because he said that most of the money that is donated goes towards promotional and advertising of the ALS Association while the remaining goes to big pharma which is already doing their research and therefore just inflating their ‘already-high profits’.
Another is Pamela Anderson who refused the challenge because of the use of animal experimentation in ALS research. Members of the Pro-Life Movement condemned the donation to ALS Association because it uses embryonic stem cell in its research.
The Archdiocese of Cincinnati with its 113 schools also recommended individuals participating in the Ice Bucket Challenge to donate to such groups, but not to the ALS Association "saying the group's funding of embryonic stem cell research is 'in direct conflict with Catholic teaching'.
As it said, you cannot please anybody. We have different thought on everything. What matter most is that is this research will be benefited to everybody especially to those who are suffering ALS.