WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/AP) — The ALS Association is crediting money raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge for the discovery of a gene they say is among the most common that contribute to the progressive disease.

Those who accepted the challenge allowed buckets of ice water to be dumped on their heads to raise awareness of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Everybody from celebrities, to politicians to professional athletes took the challenge. CBS2’s Chris Wragge and Mary Calvi also joined in.

The challenge became a viral sensation in 2014 and raised more than $100 million for the association. Some of that money helped fund a global effort to help find genetic drivers of the condition called Project MinE.

The ALS Association says a paper published this week in the journal Nature Genetics reveals Project MinE researchers have identified the NEK1 gene’s connection to ALS. It says understanding the gene’s role will help in developing new target therapy for ALS.

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