Challenge Accepted: Learn About ALS

bucket filled with iceNiles Public Library challenged CPL to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. To meet the challenge, we pulled together some of the best resources about ALS from our collection. We now challenge all Chicagoans to read and learn more about this disease.

Maybe you’ve been “called out” and you’re filling your bucket and preparing for the shock, or you decided there's no way you're dumping a bucket of freezing cold water over your head and promptly donated a sawbuck to charity.

Either way, just about all of us have been exposed to the Ice Bucket Challenge, which is getting people talking about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease. In fact, since the challenge began July 29, ALS Association has received $88.5 million in donations.

So what is ALS, what are the symptoms, how is it treated and what are the causes?

Medline Plus offers comprehensive information, including an interactive tutorial, the latest news and research, and related resources for sufferers of the disease.

For an intimate look at the effects of ALS, I suggest His Brother's Keeper. Pulitzer Prize-winning science author Jonathan Weiner gracefully tells the story of the Heywood brothers—one diagnosed with an incurable disease and the other determined to use every treatment, currently available or not yet discovered, to save him.

You can watch the brothers' journey in the acclaimed documentary So Much, So Fast.

Want to learn more? Check out additional titles on the disease.

Let us know: Have you taken the challenge?