- Posted Wednesday June 26, 2013
Join the Crowd: TGen scientist launches innovative<br > online research test to improve understanding of memory
MindCrowd study drives search for clues to Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disorders
PHOENIX, Ariz. - June 26, 2013 - A scientific
researcher at Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research
Institute (TGen) has launched a first-of-its-kind online memory
test to help better understand human cognition and how it might
relate to Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders.
Dubbed "MindCrowd," the study seeks to attract 1 million individuals, aged 18 to 80, willing to complete the 10-minute online memory test at mindcrowd.org. Researchers will use the test results to build a base of data for further study on how cognition and memory changes as people age.
Eventually, the researchers want to leverage this newly gained biological insight into therapeutic application - treatment. The hope is for the online test to go viral with friends, families and colleagues challenging one another to take the test and compare the results.
MindCrowd is the brainchild of TGen Associate Professor Dr. Matt Huentelman, who believes understanding how the brain works in healthy individuals will foster the development of new medicines and therapies for those with brain disorders. Dr. Huentelman's TGen lab studies the genomics of human neurological traits and diseases with a specific focus on learning, memory and Alzheimer's.
"MindCrowd is the first research project of its kind," said Huentelman, an expert in genomics as it relates to memory. "By harnessing the power of the Internet, we can study a million - or more - individuals to help bring us closer to a cure for Alzheimer's disease and other brain disorders.
"Combining our knowledge of human genetics and neuroscience with
an online research study like MindCrowd is a revolutionary approach
to understanding our differences in brain performance and how it
may influence risk for disease. We expect to add significantly to
our understanding of cognition and how genetic factors impact our
memory as we age."
The MindCrowd project has two phases: Phase I involves memory testing of 1 million or more study participants. Following an in-depth analysis of Phase I test results, researchers will then solicit a subset of Phase I participants willing to donate a DNA saliva sample and undergo an additional round of online testing.
Participation is encouraged from a broad range of ages, backgrounds and cognitive abilities. Those taking the test are free to remain anonymous, although it is encouraged that people share basic data to help the project succeed.
The test does not predict or diagnose any condition, rather it
provides data on one type of memory and how these processes change
as people age and have varied life experiences.
MindCrowd is a collaborative effort among leading scientific research institutions and organizations including TGen, the University of Arizona, Banner Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative and others.
Please visit www.mindcrowd.org to take the test.
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Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, and diabetes, through cutting edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research towards patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and rare complex diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities literally worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.
TGen Press Contact:
TGen Senior Science Writer
MindCrowd is online research study to understand the genetics of how the human brain remembers. Specifically, MindCrowd researchers want to know how the way people remember things might change as they age. If researchers better understand the way memory changes as people age, they may be able to understand what changes occur in people who have a brain disease that affects their memory (like Alzheimer's disease). MindCrowd is part of a research study conducted by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, Ariz. For more information, visit: www.mindcrowd.org.