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Tom Cruise takes the ice bucket challenge for ALS

Tom Cruise has long been known to be an activist in the area of mental health care human rights who has publicly spoken about his negative feelings about how psychiatry devastates people's lives instead of helping them. Cruise has now also surfaced as being an activist in helping to find a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). He recently took the ice bucket challenge for ALS reported US Weekly on Aug. 20, 2014.

Tom Cruise attends the press conference for Japan premiere of 'Edge of Tomorrow' at The Ritz Carton  in Tokyo, Japan
Photo by Ken Ishii/Getty Images

On Tuesday Cruise is said to have taken the ALS ice bucket challenge to a new level by taking eight challenges in quick succession. The idea has been to raise money for awareness for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis research through the ALS Association by getting dunked in freezing water to increase awareness of the disease.

Cruise appears to have succeeded in helping to raise awarness of ALS as he took the ice bucket challenge over and over again reports The Hollywood Reporter. This challenge has created a rage online with people being dared to either dump buckets of ice water on themselves or to instead make $100 donations to The ALS Association within 24 hours.

ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. This disease was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot reports the ALS Association. In 1939 Lou Gehrig brought attention to the disease across the United States and worldwide. This disease became associated with Gehrig's name when it hit him and ended his career. Gehrig was a really popular baseball player.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease which affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons which reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body eventually die due to progressive degeneration. The ability of the brain to begin and control muscle movement is lost when the motor neurons die. Patients may become completely paralyzed in the later stages of the disease when voluntary muscle action is progressively affected in this manner.

This is a devastating illness and with Cruise leading celebrities and others in helping to raise awareness of the disorder there may be more hope for researchers who need money to continue their search for a cure. Clearly Cruise's activism with ALS and other health care and human rights issues does make a significant impact. It looks like Katie Holmes lost a helluva guy.

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