A research team from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine has found an explanation for the formation of protein clumps in the brains of some patients with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
But they’re sharing credit for their success with a bunch of kindhearted goofballs that kept popping up on Facebook last summer.
Philip Wong, a professor of pathology at the medical school, told The Washington Post that the money raised by the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge — in which participants either donated to the association or dumped a bucket of ice water on their heads before challenging three friends to make the same choice— helped fund their research.
FULL DISCLOSURE: The author of this post was one of those goofballs, opting to split the difference by making a small donation to the association before dumping a glass of water on his head. That’s just how he rolls.
“Without [the challenge], we would not have been able to come out with the studies as quickly as we did,” Wong told the Post.
The challenge raised more than $220 million globally for ALS research and patient care last year, according to the association, which has relaunched the challenge this month and adopted the hashtag #EveryAugustUntilACure.
Last August, the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research at Johns Hopkins reported an 800 percent increase in donations over the previous year after the challenge went viral on social media.