ALS researcher takes Ice Bucket Challenge - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

ALS researcher takes Ice Bucket Challenge

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Dr. Peter King, an ALS researcher and UAB professor, takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Source: Melanie Posey/WBRC Dr. Peter King, an ALS researcher and UAB professor, takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Source: Melanie Posey/WBRC
Dr. King. Source: WBRC video Dr. King. Source: WBRC video
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

It's all over social media. Thousands are taking the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise money to fight ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

A professor at UAB who is an ALS researcher took the challenge himself on Thursday.

To date, the ALS Association has received close to $42 million as a result of the frosty challenge. But what exactly is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?

"It's a disease of nerves that control muscles. The disease involves the progressive weakness of muscles to the point people cannot perform daily tasks," Dr. Peter King said.

Dr. King is the Vice Chair of the UAB Neurology Department and Chief of Neurology at the Birmingham VA. For the past 20 years, he's researched the disease, hoping to find a cure.

"We still don't have an idea of what cause the disease, which hampers developing therapeutic interventions," King said.

"About 10 percent is hereditary. The rest is sporadic. It typically affects older people in their 60s," he explained.

He knows funding for research is low and he appreciates the attention the recent wave of ice bucket challenges has brought to disease.

So when his daughter and the Huntsville ALS group challenged him, he stepped up to the plate.

After taking the challenge, he was asked how it felt to have ice dumped on his head.

"Very nice. Pleasant on this hot day," he said, smiling.

"To me it's heartening to see this kind of enthusiasm and support of a disease that is so devastating," Dr. King added.

Dr. King challenged Ray Watts, the president of UAB, to take the Ice Bucket Challenge next.

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