EyesOnALZ - Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
I. General questions about the project
Q: Where do I sign up?
A: Sign up here on the main project page.
Q: What is the purpose of EyesOnALZ?
A: To speed up dementia research so we can get to an effective treatment faster.
Q: Is this project going to cure Alzheimer’s disease?
A: As with all science: we hope so, but we can’t be sure, and a cure will probably take more than one project. The research that is being speeded up by this project looks very promising but research is always uncertain, and can lead in unexpected directions. That said, the goal of this project is to reduce the time to find a treatment target for Alzheimer’s disease based on the Cornell University research from decades to just a few years.
Q: How does EyesOnALZ speed up research?
A: We have created some online games that help analyze research data. Whenever someone plays one of these games it helps analyze the data.
Q: When I play one of these online games, are you analyzing me?
A: No. When you plan the online game, you become a member of the science team and you are helping us analyze data that comes from experiments involving mice.
Q: Why can’t scientists just analyze the research data?
A: There is too much data to analyze. It takes a trained scientist an entire year to analyze data from a single experiment.
Q: Why does it take so long to analyze these data compared to other research data?
A: These data come from a special new method of taking pictures of blood flow in live animals. There is no quick way to analyze them.
Q: Why not just use a computer to analyze the data?
A: We have tried that. For these kinds of data, computers are just not as accurate as humans. To get answers to the research questions, the results need to be extremely accurate. Someday, we may figure out a way to do this using computers, but for now, humans are the only “computers” that are powerful enough for this.
Q: How many online games are there?
A: We are currently developing two online games, each helps with a different aspect of the data analysis.
II. Disease Impact
Q: Could this research help with early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease?
A: If stalled capillaries are indeed a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, then we may be able to develop noninvasive diagnostic tests that provide early warning signs, such as stalled capillaries in the retina.
Q: Could a treatment based on this research help someone who already has Alzheimer’s disease?
A: A treatment approach based on restoring brain blood flow could provide near term cognitive benefits by improving oxygen transport in the brain and long term benefits by slowing or halting the progression of the disease.
Q: Where can I find general information about Alzheimer’s disease?
A: BrightFocus Foundation, a EyesOnALZ partner and sponsor, has a wealth of very accessible information about Alzheimer’s disease.
III. Questions about the Stall Catchers game
Q: What is the goal of the Stall Catchers game?
A: The goal of the alz@home game is to figure out whether or not blood is flowing through the indicated vessels.
Q: How difficult is the Stall Catchers game?
A: The Stall Catchers game is the simplest to learn. On each turn, watch a 5-second movie and decide whether or not you think blood is flowing through a vessel.