Researchers from the Mayo Clinic are ahead of the game with ALS

by: Erica Bennett Updated:

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - It's an act thousands of people are taking part in. Oprah, Brittany Spears. Even LeBron James.

Although the ice bucket challenge is fun to watch, it has a purpose.

The goal is to raise money for ALS, a neurological disorder also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
 
"Will definitely add to the level of support.

The financial support needed to make these breakthrough discoveries,” Dr. Leonard Petrucelli said.
 
Petrucelli is one of the leading researchers at Mayo Clinic.

He and his colleagues recently struck gold and discovered small molecules that can pinpoint a specific genetic mutation.

That's huge, considering the disease can destroy motor neurons, the spinal cord, and affect your breathing.
 
"We're very excited about that this because of the fact it presents a therapeutic strategy to target what's going on in these individuals,” Petrucelli continued.
 
Mayo's newest research paper can be found in the medical journal Neuron. Petrucelli says for them to continue work like that, they must have funding and fearless donors doing their part -- one dump of ice at a time.
 
"It offers us an opportunity to really monitor not only the disease progression, but also when available -- clinical efficacy,” he explained.


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