If you have checked social media or turned on a television in the last month, you may have noticed an exceedingly large amount of celebrities or people you know dumping large buckets of ice water onto each other. The "ice bucket challenge" entails pouring a bucket filled with icy water onto someone's head to inform people about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's Disease or ALS. The activity may seem goofy, but it has raised over $100 million dollars towards researching this disease. Celebrities such as Bill Gates, Oprah, Steven Spielberg, Conan O'Brien, and many more have participated in the challenge.
The viral nature of the videos resulting from the ice bucket challenge has contributed to its huge success in raising money for research and awareness about Lou Gehrig's Disease.
FAQs About The Disease:
What is ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a motor neuron disease originally identified in the 1860s. The cause of the disease is not completely understood, but research has uncovered more facts about the disease in recent years.
What are the symptoms of the disease?
The disease is different in every case. The most common symptoms of ALS include weakness in the hands, legs, feet, and arms that worsens with time. Muscle weakness can affect everything from walking to chewing and speaking.
How is the disease diagnosed?
There is no single test that is capable of diagnosing the disease. It is typically diagnosed after other diseases with similar symptoms have been ruled out. A diagnosis can take quite a long time depending upon the condition of the patient.
What are the treatments for the disease?
Riluzole is the only medication that has been approved by the FDA. Care for Lou Gehrig's Disease typically involves helping the patients manage symptoms to live as comfortably as possible.
For more information on this disease and other neurological diseases, check out our resources section.