ALS ice bucket challenge is the latest viral stuff on the net. I guess almost all of you must have watched these videos. More and more people especially celebrities are taking up this challenge and are coming up with their videos. Many of us even those who took up this challenge really don’t know what all this is really about. Let us have a brief look on what this is all about.

What is ALS?

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. It’s a disease affecting the nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. It causes progressive degeneration of the motor neurons which control muscle movement. Due to their degeneration they are no longer able to send impulses to the muscle fibers which are responsible for movement. When muscles no longer receive messages from the motor neurons, they begin to shrink. Dead motor neurons make the brain lose its ability to initiate and control muscle movement, affecting the action of voluntary muscles which could lead to total paralysis.

Cause and Cure

The cause of ALS is not yet known for sure however it is said to have some genetic links. Talking of cure no definite cure has yet been identified however the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of riluzole, which is believed to reduce damage to motor neurons. This drug prolongs survival by several months, but does not repair already-damaged motor neurons.

Origin of this challenge

The ALS reference in ice bucket challenge videos reportedly began in a video posted on July 15, 2014 by golfer Chris Kennedy. He tagged and challenged his cousin in New York, whose husband has had ALS for 11 years. The feeling of ice-cold water over the body is said to be similar to the numbing effect of ALS.

How this has helped the cause?

The ALS Association in the US has reportedly received $41.8 million in donations between July 29 and August 21, 2014. This is a big jump compared to just $2.1 million received during the same time period last year.

The critical view

The hype which is being created by this ALS ice bucket challenge is too much. Every other celebrity is taking up this challenge but the point is that are they really concerned for this cause. There are many other grim issues in the world but no one is taking up an ice bucket challenge for those. Actually it is in the trend so people are going for it. Many people taking up this challenge may not be able to tell what ALS is. This is what many critics of the ALS ice bucket challenge are saying. They are giving points like the amount of water wasted etc.

 But even after these shortcomings we can’t deny the fact that it has really helped the ALS cause. The idea of this ice bucket challenge is really innovative and such type of ideas must be brought forward for other serious causes also.


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