Could Online Gaming Help Scientists Find a Cure for Neurological Diseases?


Researchers at UC San Francisco are hoping to better understand the brain with the help of online games.

This week marked the beginning of the Brain Health Registry online database, which streamlines a process to help recruit subjects for certain brain diseases. The Rosenberg Alzheimer’s Project along with The Ray and the Dagmar Dolby Family Fund are also involved this project that uses online neuropsychological tests to uncover medical mysteries regarding certain neurological disorders.

“This registry is an innovative 21st century approach to science with tremendous potential,” said project founder and principal investigator Michael Weiner, MD, via a press release. “The greatest obstacles to finding a cure for Alzheimer’s and other brain disorders are the cost and time involved in clinical trials. This project aims to cut both and greatly accelerate the search for cures.”

Every three to six months, participants will be invited to play games from their own home and can continue doing so over the years. Meanwhile, critical data will be used to study the brains as they age so that various studies on Parkinson’s, depression, Alzheimer’s and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be further analyzed.

If you’re looking to participate, the only criteria is that you’re 18 or older.

“We’re seeking people with all kinds of problems — or are completely normal — to build this database,” Weiner said, via San Jose Mercury News. “It will open up the research world.”


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