ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been creating quite a buzz for some time now, but do we really know what is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis? The challenge’s main goal is not only to raise funds, but also to raise awareness of the disease.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis ( also know as Lou Gehrig’s Disease) is a fatal progressive neuromuscular disease. It degenerates the lower and upper motor neurons of the brain and spinal cord. Our motor neurons stretch from the brain and spinal cord to the muscle all over our body. In ALS, motor neurons degenerate and eventually die, leading to the lost of muscle movement. If we don’t use our muscles, it shrinks and there would be muscle wasting.
‘A’ means absence, ‘myo’ is muscles, ‘trophic’ means nourishment, so it means no nourishment in muscles. People with this disease will look thin due to loss of muscle mass. They will soon be paralyzed since the neurons would not be degenerated causing the inability to transmit impulses from the brain to the muscles.
It is also the motor neurons which transmit the impulse to move. We can control our breathing, but we do not consciously control our heartbeats. The heart won’t be affected, but the lungs would soon be paralyzed too, thus usually people with ALS live only about 2-5 years upon diagnosis with the help of nerve conduction test.
There is no cure for this disease, thus ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was started by the late Corey Griffin, who ironically died of drowning.
Read: Corey Griffin: One of the Man Behind ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Local celebrities like Vice Ganda, Billy Crawford, Coleen Garcia, Anne Curtis, Vhong Navarro, Angel Locsin, Luis Manzano and Xian Lim took up the dare and even donated to the ALS organization to show support for its cause.