The arena of Alzheimer’s disease research is broadening, and now there’s an easy way every one of us could actually help bring about the finding of a cure. Through an online game, Stall Catchers, thousands of people are committing time and energy combing through slides of mouse brains to assist researchers in determining the effectiveness of addressing cerebral blood circulation issues to reverse memory loss.
Part of the increasing trend in “citizen science,” Stall Catchers merges today’s technology with the overall population’s desire to really make a difference in the world around them. Millions of volunteers contribute their time every day to causes such as diagnosing malaria, storm damage tracking, even trying to find signs of extraterrestrial intelligence.
And it’s actually helping. Stall Catchers volunteers’ hard work has made a direct effect on achieving the discovery that impaired blood circulation is not related to the amyloid plaques connected to Alzheimer’s disease, processing slides at a speed which would take a single lab researcher a full week in just an hour. With government financing for Alzheimer’s disease research capped out at $986 million a year ago (and at least $2 billion required yearly, according to the Alzheimer’s Association), volunteer researchers are priceless.
Step two in this particular study is to search for a treatment that can target these blood blockages without reducing patients’ immune systems – an effort that requires the tedious examination of yet more tens of thousands of images. And although it’s going to take a lot of time, even with an enthusiastic crowd of volunteers, people that have a loved one struggling with Alzheimer’s disease find purpose in being able to do something to work hard towards a cure at any time the desire arises. According to Judy Johanson, whose father has difficulties 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 have a senior loved one with Alzheimer’s disease, you’re able to sign up to be part of the Stall Catchers community to help, and contact Heaven at Home Senior Care, top providers of Texas home care, for in-home help with specialized Alzheimer’s disease and dementia care. Our fully trained, experienced, and compassionate caregivers are available as much or as little as needed – whether just a couple of hours a week to offer family caregivers with a little time to themselves, or full-time, around-the-clock care to keep seniors safe and well. Contact us online or call us at (940) 432-5670 to learn more.