The world of Alzheimer’s disease research is expanding, and now there’s an easy way all of us can bring about the discovery of an Alzheimer’s cure. With an online game, Stall Catchers, many people are dedicating time to going through slides of mouse brains to aid research workers in establishing the effectiveness of addressing cerebral blood flow issues to reverse loss of memory.
An element of the developing trend in “citizen science,” Stall Catchers blends today’s technology with the overall population’s desire to really make a difference in the world around them. Huge numbers of volunteers give their valuable time every day to causes that include diagnosing malaria, storm damage tracking, and even attempting to find signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.
And it’s already helping. Stall Catchers volunteers’ hard work made a direct impact on achieving the finding that impaired circulation is not related to the amyloid plaques connected with Alzheimer’s disease, processing slides at a speed that might take a single lab researcher an entire week in as little as an hour. With government funding for Alzheimer’s research capped out at $986 million during the past year (and at least $2 billion needed every year, according to the Alzheimer’s Association), volunteer researchers are indispensable.
The next phase in this particular study is to search for a treatment that can address these blood flow blockages without reducing patients’ immune systems – an effort that involves the monotonous examination of more than tens of thousands of images. And even though it’s going to take a lot of time, even with an enthusiastic audience of volunteers, people that have a loved one dealing with the disease find purpose in the ability to do something to work towards an Alzheimer’s cure, at any time the urge arises. According to Judy Johanson, whose father is dealing with the disease, “You don’t have to wait for the walk or the triathlon to do this. You can do this whenever you need to.”
If you’ve got a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you’re able to register to be part of the Stall Catchers community in order to assist, and contact Home Matters team and our senior care experts for in-home assistance with specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care. Our fully trained, experienced, and compassionate caregivers are available as much or as little as needed – whether only a few hours a week to supply family caregivers with a little time to themselves, or full-time, around-the-clock care to keep seniors safe and well.