Research center wants 1 million people to play their online memory game
Phoenix, AZ -- Valley-based genomics research center TGen is trying to get 1 million people to take an online memory game they have created. Their goal is to further research into Alzheimer's disease.
TGen is now receiving celebrity assistance in promoting the game, that has been online for nearly two years. Actress, singer and Valley native Lynda Carter has recorded a video message encouraging people to take the test.
TGen researchers are trying to uncover the mysteries behind Alzheimer's disease. The purpose of the test is not to uncover possible precursors to Alzheimer's or diagnose people.
Instead, researchers are searching for people who perform extremely well on the test, those who score average, and those who scored poorly. A second phase of the study will examine the brains of those individuals.
TGen scientist Dr. Matt Huentleman tells CBS5 we don't yet understand how a healthy brain works. By examining lifestyle factors and a persons underlying genetics, that could be the key to unlocking treatment options and preventative therapies.
Dr. Huentleman says that finding 1 million people to play the game is, "our baby step."
The reason TGen needs so many people to play the game before proceeding to the next step is because so few people score perfectly on the test, they need a large sample size to find that so-called needle in a haystack.
5% of 18 year olds score perfectly on the test, while .1% of 60 year olds get all the answers correct.
Dr Huentleman says it would be nearly impossible to find those individuals in a small study sample.
Actress Lynda Carter became involved in the project after a chance meeting with TGen president Dr Jeffrey Trent. Both attended Acadia High School and were recently honored in an event at the school.
Dr. Trent invited Carter to visit TGen and afterwards she was very motivated to help in the MindCrowd endeavor.
Carter recently lost her mother to Alzheimer's disease.
The game has been live for nearly two years and about 50,000 people have played so far.
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