A virtual reality: Alzheimer’s cure turned from work into an online game

Want to cure Alzheimer’s? Get in line. Researchers have long been puzzled by the disease and vexed by how long it’s taking to unravel its mysteries.

One group of scientists is helping speed up that process with assistance from the public. “Stall Catchers,” a game created by the Human Computation Institute in Ithaca, N.Y., turns the hunt for a cure from frustrating to fun, according to the Washington Post.

In the game, players watch short movies — made using a multiphoton microscope — that show blood flowing through the brains of living mice. Players work on a data set of thousands of images to point out “stalls” — areas of reduced blood flow caused by white blood cells accumulating on the sides of the vessels.

The films might seem far removed from the experience typical of people with Alzheimer’s disease: difficulty concentrating, jumbled speech and confusion. But they may be closely linked: It’s thought that reduced blood flow in the brain is at least partially responsible for Alzheimer’s symptoms.

Read the full story and discover how to join in at the Washington Post.

Topics: Alzheimer's/Dementia , Clinical Leadership , Technology Trends , Uncategorized