ALS Facts You Need to Know Before Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge

ALS Facts You Need to Know Before Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge
So you’ve been nominated to take the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, but what is it all about? Here are some quick facts about this viral movement that you can learn.
If you are social media-savvy, then there is no way you could have missed the trending phenomenon that is taking the internet by storm. Dubbed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, this movement seeks to raise awareness on a rare but extremely lethal neurodegenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).The challenge starts when someone nominates you to either donate money to the ALS Association or do the Ice Bucket Challenge. This is done in the hopes of either raising awareness and/or encourage people to donate to the cause. If you decide to accept the challenge, you will first do the challenge and then nominate three more people to do the challenge or give some of their money to an ALS charity.

The Ice Bucket Challenge numerous celebrities, athletes, and political figures, including former U.S. President George W. Bush, Jr. Among the celebrities that did the challenge are actor Robert Downey, Jr., singer Taylor Swift, wrestler/actor Dave Bautista (Batista), actor Chris Pratt, singer/actress Jennifer Lopez, actor Charlie Sheen, Actor Vin Diesel, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and Microsoft founder/owner Bill Gates.

To date, the Ice Bucket Challenge has gotten more than a hundred million dollars, with over three million followers online.

What is ALS?

Also called the Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous baseball player whose illustrious career ended shortly after being diagnosed with ALS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is according to the ALS Association, defined as “a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord”.

What this means is that there is continuous degeneration of the motor neurons until they die. When these motor neurons perish, the brain loses its ability to control muscle movement. Voluntary muscle action is slowly affected, eventually paralyzing patients in the final stages of the disease.

More Facts About ALS

Despite the surge in popularity about this highly debilitating disease, there is quite a lot of information about ALS that people do not know. Here are a few.

  • ALS is not a contagious disease. You do not pass it on by contact or by exchanging bodily fluids.
  • Approximately two people in a population of a hundred thousand die of ALS every year.
  • There are more or less 5,600 people annually who are bound to discover that they have ALS.
  • ALS can affect anyone, regardless of your racial background, ethnic origins, or socioeconomic status.
  • Early symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is muscle weakness, which would then progress to paralysis of the muscles in the limbs or the torso. Vital functions such as speaking, swallowing, and even breathing will eventually be prevented by ALS.
  • The cost is high for patients suffering from ALS, as medical care, equipment, and other related costs are constant once ALS has been diagnosed.

If you decide to accept the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, it would be best to keep in mind that the main goal is to raise money to fund research on finding an ALS cure. For more informative health and lifestyle articles, as well as posts on alternative and complementary medicine, check out our page here.