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  • Ice Bucket Challenge


    A person performing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge The Ice Bucket Challenge, sometimes called the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, is an activity involving the dumping of a bucket of ice and water over a person's head, either by another person or self-administered, to promote awareness of the disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as motor neuron disease and in the US as Lou Gehrig's disease) and encourage donations to research. It went viral on social media during July–August 2014. In the US, many people participated for the ALS Association, and in the UK, many people participated for the Motor Neurone Disease Association, although some individuals opted to donate their money from the Ice Bucket Challenge to other organizations. The challenge encourages nominated participants to be filmed having a bucket of ice water poured on their heads and then nominating others to do the same. A common stipulation is that nominated participants have 24 hours to comply or forfeit by way of a charitable financial donation.

  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy


    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), formerly known as dementia pugilistica, is a neurodegenerative disease found in people who have had multiple head injuries. Symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. This typically does not begin until years after the injuries. It often gets worse over time and can result in dementia. It is unclear if the risk of suicide is altered. Most documented cases have occurred in athletes involved in contact sports such as boxing, American football, wrestling, ice hockey, rugby and soccer. Other risk factors include being in the military, prior domestic violence, and repeated banging of the head. The exact amount of trauma required for the condition to occur is unknown. Definitive diagnosis can only occur at autopsy. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a form of tauopathy. , there is no specific treatment. Rates of disease have been found to be about 30% among those with a history of multiple head injuries. Population rates, however, are unclear. Research in brain damage as a result of repeated head injuries began in the 1920s, at which time the condition was known as dementia pugilistica or "punch drunk syndrome". Changing the rules in some sports has been discussed as a means of prevention.

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease (MND) or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a specific disease which causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. Some also use the term motor neuron disease for a group of conditions of which ALS is the most common. ALS is characterized by stiff muscles, muscle twitching, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size. This results in difficulty speaking, swallowing, and eventually breathing. The cause is not known in 90% to 95% of cases. The remaining 5–10% of cases are inherited from a person's parents. About half of these genetic cases are due to one of two specific genes. The underlying mechanism involves damage to both upper and lower motor neurons. The diagnosis is based on a person's signs and symptoms, with testing done to rule out other potential causes. No cure for ALS is known. A medication called riluzole may extend life by about two to three months. Non-invasive ventilation may result in both improved quality and length of life. The disease can affect people of any age, but usually starts around the age of 60 and in inherited cases around the age of 50. The average survival from onset to death is two to four years. About 10% survive longer than 10 years. Most die from respiratory failure. In much of the world, rates of ALS are unknown. In Europe the disease affects about two to three people per 100,000 per year. Descriptions of the disease date back to at least 1824 by Charles Bell. In 1869, the connection between the symptoms and the underlying neurological problems was first described by Jean-Martin Charcot, who in 1874 began using the term amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. It became well known in the United States in the 20th century when in 1939 it affected the baseball player Lou Gehrig and later worldwide following the 1963 diagnosis of cosmologist Stephen Hawking. In 2014, videos of the Ice Bucket Challenge went viral on the Internet and increased public awareness of the condition.

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