DETROIT (WWJ) – Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge to help raise money for ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease? The challenge became a viral sensation in 2014 and raised more than $100 million.

Well, that cold water and the hundreds of thousands around the world who took the challenge, have made a difference reports WWJ health reporter Dr. Deanna Lites.

READ MORE: Whitmer Spoke About The Economic Jumpstart Plan Wednesday During The Macomb County Chamber Luncheon

The ALS Association says money raised from the challenge is the reason scientists have discovered a gene that contributes to the inherited type of this disease.

Kristin Munyan, with the ALS Association Michigan Chapter, says this is an important breakthrough.

READ MORE: DPD Animal Month Features Michigan’s Only Dedicated Bomb Squad K-9

“If we know what gene is being affected in the pathology of this disease we have the ability to then attempt to create therapies,” says Munyan.

She says this finding offers hope to families and patients.

“Five years ago we couldn’t tell people that we think there will be a treatment within our lifetime but that has absolutely changed now.”

MORE NEWS: 6 More 'MI Shot To Win' Sweepstakes Winners Announced Aug. 4

The research that led to this discovery involved 11 countries, 80 researchers and more than 15,000 participants.