FAST FACTS: ALS and the ice bucket challenge (Video)
Not all those who join the video challenge know what ALS is, or what the video is all about. Here are some facts you need to know about the disease and the ice bucket challenge.
You've definitely seen at least one of those viral ice bucket challenge videos.
These viral videos are the latest craze on the Internet. The New York Times reported that more than 1.2 million videos were shared on Facebook between June 1 and August 13, and that the challenge was mentioned on Twitter more than 2.2 million times since July 29 this year.
These viral videos try to raise awareness about a disease called ALS. And it helped that even big personalities have taken part in not just making the disease known, but also donating for this cause.
What does ALS mean?
ALS stands for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. A-myo-trophic is from the Greek language that means "no muscle nourishment" — "A" means no or negative, "myo" means muscle, and "trophic" means nourishment. "Lateral" refers to the areas in the spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As the lateral degenerates, it leads to scarring or hardening (or sclerosis) in the affected part.
What does ALS do to the body?
ALS causes the progressive degeneration of the motor neurons, which control muscle movements. As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in 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. via Rappler
How did the Ice Bucket Challenge begin?
The idea of dousing cold water on one's head to raise money has early origins, and they are not exclusive to ALS awareness.
The exact date of its origin is unclear. A Slate report says that a search of the hashtag #icebucketchallenge on Instagram indicates that video challenges began as early as 2013, with most of them being done just for fun.
But 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.
Since then, the video challenge has spread on the Internet.
So bago makiuso, alamin muna kung anoba ang pinaglalaban nito.