Researcher on the project Jonathan Ling described how the funds gave researchers the “financial stability” to pursue “high risk, high reward” experiments in an “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit.
This time last year social media feeds were flooded with videos of people being drenched with iced water to raise money for MND research.
ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) also known as Motor Neuron Disease (MND) is an incurable, terminal, neurodegenerative disease that kills two people everyday in Australia.
Despite receiving much criticism, the viral campaign raised over $220 million US dollars for ALS and MND organisations worldwide, allowing the scientists to conduct ‘high-risk, high-reward’ experiments.
Executive Director of MND Australia, Carol Birks said not much is known about the disease and any advances in research are a big step forward.
“MND is a very, very complex disease and any advances in the research is helping put another piece in the puzzle towards a treatment,” Ms Birks said.
“I think the Ice Bucket Challenge money has really accelerated research worldwide, which is just wonderful.”
MND Australia was awarded a $350,000 ‘Ice Bucket Challenge Grant,’ every year for three years from money raised during last year’s campaign.
“It’s a big collaboration of all the top researchers and clinicians in Australia, all focused on MND, and a collaboration with some top International researchers as well, so that’s starting next month,” Ms Birks said.
MND and ALS organisations worldwide are pushing the challenge again this year and every August forward until a cure is found.
Ms Birks said although the 2014 challenge brought great results, a one-off injection into funding will not be enough to find a cure.
“We need to ensure that the funds keep going so that we can keep supporting people with MND and keep supporting the researchers to do their work”.
To donate to MND Australia or take part in this year’s challenge, click here.