Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Have you been swept by the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

image source: google

Unlike my otherwise light and yummy posts, this one is a bit different and serious in nature for reasons of its own.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has taken the world by storm. The social media is floating with videos of known and not so known people performing the challenge in their own unique ways.

If you have still not googled about this let me throw some light on what ALS and the challenge is all about.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) also referred to as motor neurone disorder (MND), Charcot disease, and, in the United States, Lou Gehrig's disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease in which nerve cells in the brain are affected. 

Motor neurons starting from the brain travel to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. Due to the progressive degeneration the motor neurons in ALS eventually die. 

When the motor neurons die, the brain loses its ability to initiate and control muscle movement. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, the disease in its later stages may lead to patients becoming totally paralyzed.  

While ALS is not contagious it can however strike anyone.


Muscle weakness or stiffness is the early symptom of ALS usually leading to tripping, dropping things, abnormal fatigue of the arms and/or legs, slurred speech, muscle cramps and twitches and/or uncontrollable periods of laughing or crying.

Other following symptoms include trouble swallowing, cramping; and/or slurred and nasal speech.

The parts of the body affected by early symptoms of ALS are dependent on motor neurons in the body that are damaged first.

Since only motor neurons are attacked by ALS, the sense of sight, touch, hearing, taste and smell are not affected.


Sporadic (most common form in the US)
Guamanian (observed in Guam and the Trust Territories of the Pacific in the 1950's).
Familial (occurs more than once in family lineage)


ALS is a very difficult disease to diagnose and till date no procedure or test has been found out to ultimately establish the conclusion that it is ALS. ALS is generally diagnosed by carrying out a series of clinical examinations and diagnosis tests for diseases with similar symptoms as ALS and ruling those out.


Riluzole, the first treatment to alter the course of ALS, was approved by the FDA in late 1995 and was shown scientifically to prolong the life of persons with ALS by at least a few months.


Now that you have a fair idea about ALS lets come to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is an activity that revolves around dumping a bucket of ice water on someone's head to promote awareness of the ALS disease and encourage donations to research. It went viral throughout social media during the months of July and August this year. While people participate for the ALS Association in the US, the people in the UK participate for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

As per the rule of this challenge, within 24 hours of being challenged, participants have to record a video of themselves in continuous footage. Starting from announcing their acceptance of the challenge followed by pouring ice into a bucket of water to the bucket being lifted and poured over the participant's head. Then the participant can call out a challenge to other people.

The people who refuse to perform the challenge then donate to the cause.

My Take on The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Don’t worry I am not going to make it very long.

While I am happy that the challenge has spread awareness about the disease not just in the US and the UK but across the globe, what saddens me is the fact that most people are taking part in the challenge just to be a part of the ongoing fun or because it’s the latest fad.

Come on! Really? Alright it is a good cause to donate to but not at the cost of wasting so much water especially when we know that so many people die due to the scarcity of this precious natural resource.

I have also come across articles stating that the donation money is not being put to the right use as claimed. How genuine these articles really are, I cannot comment on that. I will still have to do some homework for that.

What I have realised is that we are too quick to be a part of the mob following the latest trend whether it is fashion or a charitable cause.

There are many like me finding the idea of wasting so much water stupid and absurd, refusing to take up the challenge yet I see a new video of a person performing the challenge everytime I log in to my FB or YouTube account.

The unfathomable part is that people are finding innovative and bizarre ways to waste that otherwise useful bucketful down the drain.

If you are really so keen to help I request you to do your research well.

There are so many other ways to help and so many other causes to contribute to besides wasting a bucketful of water.

So, if you have been challenged
Use your brain
Before that pail goes down the drain

P.S.: I am not a doctor and hence the facts about the disease are a result of the research I did online and hence have been resourced from the information available across the web.

1 comment:

  1. thanx for the information. i totally agree that one should not waste water.