November 7, 2017 by
The field of Alzheimer’s research is expanding, and today there’s a way all of us could actually help bring about the finding of a cure. With an online game, Stall Catchers, many people are dedicating time and energy going through slides of mouse brains to help researchers in establishing the effectiveness of addressing cerebral blood circulation issues to reverse loss of memory.
An element of the growing trend in “citizen science,” Stall Catchers merges modern technology with the overall population’s hope to make a difference in the world around them. Countless volunteers offer their time every day to causes that include the diagnosis of malaria, hurricane damage tracking, even trying to find signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.
And it is really helping. Stall Catchers volunteers’ efforts made a direct impact on achieving the breakthrough that impaired blood flow is not associated with the amyloid plaques connected to Alzheimer’s disease, processing slides at a rate which would take an individual laboratory researcher an entire week within an hour. With government funding for Alzheimer’s research topped out at $986 million last year (and at least $2 billion recommended per year, according to the Alzheimer’s Association), volunteer researchers are priceless.
The next step in this specific study is to look for a medication that can deal with these circulation blockages while not decreasing patients’ immune systems – an effort involving the monotonous examination of yet more tens of thousands of images. And even though it is going to take a significant amount of time, even with an enthusiastic group of research volunteers, people that have a loved one battling Alzheimer’s find purpose in the ability to do something to work hard towards a cure, at any time the desire arises. According to Judy Johanson, whose father struggles 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 relative with Alzheimer’s disease, you’ll be able to register to be part of the Stall Catchers community in order to help, and contact At Home Independent Living for in-home assistance with specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care in the Syracuse area. Our fully trained, experienced, and compassionate caregivers are available as much or as little as needed – whether just a few hours a week to supply family caregivers with a bit of time to themselves, or full-time, around-the-clock care to keep seniors safe and well. Call us at 315.579.HOME (4663) to learn more.