There is currently no effective treatment for Alzheimer’s.
It is difficult for families and continues to confuse researchers; an especially bamboozling question is why there’s less blood flowing through the brains of patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s.
To study this phenomenon, Cornell University researchers have given mice the human version of Alzheimer’s. When they studied the brains of these mice, they found some blood vessels had stopped flowing and discovered that the “stalls” were caused by some type of blood cell that sticks to the vessel.
The mice with blockage did poorly on memory testing. But when the problematic cells are removed, the blood begins to flow again and their memories return to normal! If we want to do the same for humans with Alzheimer’s, we need to find a safe medicine. The only way to know if a medicine will work is to try it out on mice first to see if the blocks disappear.
Without assistance, scientists would need decades to find a medicine that works. That’s why they decided to create a game that permits anyone to be a scientist and look for solutions. With more people looking, we can get the job done faster. And the sooner we find the answer, the less time we’ll have to wait before a safe and effective treatment for Alzheimer’s is possible.
How does Stall Catchers help me, now and in the future?
Playing Stall Catchers gives you power to speed along the research for a treatment.
Alzheimer’s is one of the top five deadly diseases today with no effective treatment. An Alzheimer’s diagnosis can be depressing, and caring for someone with the disease can feel helpless. Stall Catchers is your way to make a difference in the research. If enough people play the game, we hope to find a cure for the blocked blood vessels more quickly, maybe in only a few years.
The idea that the blocked passages in the capillaries play a role in Alzheimer’s is a new concept. Due to our experiments showing improved health in mice, it’s important to learn more about what causes the stops and to look for medicine that could eliminate them in human brains.
Some medicines tried by Stall Catchers are already being used to treat other diseases, like cancer. If we find that one of these works on Alzheimer’s, it could be easier to approve since it’s already being used. As soon as we find an effective drug, we could prescribe it “off-label” until it is officially approved. This common practice is legal in the United States as well as many other countries, and could make remedies accessible sooner than ever before.