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Sorry, skeptics. The 'Ice Bucket Challenge' actually made a difference.

Almost two years on from the world’s obsession with the ice bucket challenge began, it seems Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) — also known as Motor Neurone Disease — researchers have had a major breakthrough in unlocking a cure for the neurological disorder.

From Oprah to Anna Wintour, Selena Gomez and Tom Cruise, the celebrity world went wild in its commitment to seeing people pour buckets of freezing water over themselves all in the name of charity.

While the measurable success of the challenge’s awareness raising ability was initially questioned, it seems one recently published breakthough might not have been made without the increase in research funding.

Watch: Anna Wintour takes the ice bucket challenge. (Post continues after video.)

Video via Anna Wintour

Project MinE, which received a cut of the $USD100 million raised for ALS, announced earlier this week they have identified a new gene association with the disease.

This discovery, they say, is one that could potentially lead to new treatments.

“It’s very exciting because it shows everyone who contributed to the ice bucket challenge that their donation had an impact on the research,” Brian Frederick, executive vice-president of communications and development at the ALS Association said of the discovery.

ice bucket challenge

World renowned physicist Dr Stephen Hawking also suffers from ALS. Source: Wikipedia

“The work that Project MinE is doing is really important, and the discovery of this new gene will help us better understand ALS.”

Also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, ALS is a neurological disorder that effects the functionality of the body's muscular motor neurons and leads to the eventual death of muscle control.

The condition is both genetic and sporadic in its appearance. (Post continues after gallery.)

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The discovery was made by Project MinE sequencing the genomes of 15,000 people that are currently living with ALS and involved more than 80 researchers in 11 countries.

Frederick went on to explain the discovery is significant because "it helps us understand what’s triggering this and can help us better find a treatment.”

Did you take part in the ice bucket challenge in 2014?

Featured images: Instagram/Gwyneth Paltrow

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