The ‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ social media craze which went viral in 2014 has this week, funded a major breakthrough in the fight against Motor Neurone Disease.
By Tom Jamison
At its peak the global phenomenon which saw members of the public as well as figures such as Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and George W. Bush have ice cold water tipped over them raised millions of pounds in a single week.
Scientists have now discovered a gene variant (NEK1) associated with the condition. It is thought that the breakthrough will aid in the understanding of Motor Neurone Disease (MND) which is still an incurable disease (also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). Further knowledge of the genetic mechanisms involved could steer scientists towards better treatments.
The internet is a powerful force and whilst it is too often used for darker purposes we should celebrate the enthusiasm of the people involved at all levels in contributing their own small pieces to what could be a huge outcome.
Every ice bucketeer deserves a glass of Champagne for their efforts – chilled, of course.