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Lynda Carter — actor, singer, Alzheimer's research advocate — urges public to take test at MindCrowd.org

Famous for Wonder Woman character, Carter stars in video to help reach goal of 1 million participants in Alzheimer's study

PHOENIX, Ariz. - Dec. 2, 2014 - Lynda Carter, the singer-actress famous for playing Wonder Woman, urges everyone to take the MindCrowd.org test, a key element of a 1-million-person Alzheimer's disease study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

About 5 million Americans have Alzheimer's, a disease caused by dying brain cells that that rob individuals of their memory.

"This simple 10-minute study may provide clues to the genetics of this disease, and insights that offer hope for new treatments," says Carter in a new 3-minute video promoting the MindCrowd project.

"I've taken this test. It's really easy, and kind of fun. So, I'm asking people of all age groups to join me and take the test. Help us fight Alzheimer's," says Carter, whose mother suffered from Alzheimer's. "It's a devastating disease."

The game at MindCrowd.org presents pairs of words that the test-taker must try to remember. The entire game takes less than 10 minutes and the participants get to see how they compare to others who played the game. Participants can decide to remain entirely anonymous or can provide their contact information privately to the researchers so that they can be contacted for future research.

The test is not a diagnostic to see who might have Alzheimer's. Rather it is a test to assess different levels of performance in individuals with healthy brains.

"Understanding how the brain functions in a healthy person, we believe, will inform us about what goes wrong during Alzheimer's," says Dr. Matt Huentelman, an Associate Professor in TGen's Neurogenomics Division and Principal Investigator for MindCrowd.

Representatives of this 1st Phase of the MindCrowd study will be invited to participate in a 2nd Phase, said Dr. Huentelman, in which researchers hope to discover what drives the differences in varying levels of performance among individuals with healthy brains.

But first: "We really need 1 million people. We want to find that 5 percent of the population who really perform fantastically well on our test. And we want to be able to compare them to the people in the middle, and the people who don't do so well," said Dr. Lee Ryan, a MindCrowd project researcher at the University of Arizona, where she a Professor in the UA Psychology Department.

"We have a different genetic make-up; a different history. We live in different environments. And all these things can impact our brain," said Dr. Betty Glisky, another MindCrowd project researcher, and a Professor and head of the UA Psychology Department.

Carter says that, after individuals take the test at MindCrowd.org, they should encourage all their friends and family to also take the test.

To see her new MindCrowd video, go to the MindCrowd Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/1vhDcN4.

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About TGen
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 cancer, neurological disorders 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.

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
602-343-8704
[email protected]


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