Ice Bucket Challenge funds may have led to ALS breakthrough - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Ice Bucket Challenge funds may have led to ALS breakthrough

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KHQ.com -

Two years ago you couldn't scroll through your Facebook feed without seeing videos of people dumping ice-cold buckets of water on their heads. It was part of the Ice Bucket Challenge, a social media campaign to raise awareness for ALS. Local families, celebrities and even car dealerships got in on the action. Nationally, the Ice Bucket Challenge over $100 million.

Now, The ALS Association reports researchers with Project MinE have discovered a new ALS gene with the help of the Ice Bucket Challenge donations.The gene, called NEK1, reportedly ranks among one of the most common genes that contributes to the disease.

The Project MinE study was one of the largest-ever studies of inherited ALS, and "involved contributions from over 80 researchers in 11 countries, and was led by John Landers, Ph.D., of University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Mass. and Jan Veldink, Ph.D., of University Medical Center Utrecht, in The Netherlands," according to the ALS Association.

The ALS association says the discovery of the new gene will provide an important new target for ALS therapy development. 

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