You may remember the ice bucket challenge. And the cause behind it, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) (for a very good editorial on this, have a look here).
ALS or Motor neuron disease (MND) is a disease characterised by progressive, debilitating paralysis from loss of motor neurons in the cerebral cortex, brain stem and spinal cord and is almost always fatal. The average life expectancy following diagnosis is just 36 months with, most often, patients succumbing to the disease because of denervation of muscles involved in respiration. There is only one therapeutic option for patients, a Glutamate antagonist, riluzole, which offers a modest 3–6 month extension in survival.