TGen’s MindCrowd initiative to gather data on brain aging

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TGen’s MindCrowd initiative will be going mobile across Arizona with a specialized trailer and MRI machine designed to gather more data from Arizona residents about brain aging and Alzheimer’s. After parking a mobile trailer in October, they’re now ready to hit the road.

Dr. Matt Huentelman, director of TGen’s Neurogenomics, joined Arizona Horizon to discuss the research.

MindCrowd is an internet-based study of the brain and has been running for ten years with over 400,000 participants.

The study takes only ten minutes to complete and consists of two memory games. The first one tests how fast someone reacts to changes on the screen. This test analyzes the connection between the eyes and the finger.

The second is a memory test where you are asked to remember word pairs that are not related.

MindCrowd tests are meant to be repeated yearly to see how your brain develops over time.

Once you have completed the test, you are able to see your results and where you ranked on average.

“What it’s telling us scientifically it’s helping us understand the differences between our brains. We all have friends who are better at certain types of things in our lives and that’s true about our different types of memory. So, we’re trying to understand what drives those differences, what makes us different from each other?” Huentelman said.

This is a research study, it is not meant to diagnose a disease. However, the study might show you areas where you could improve such as recall.

“We can see all the beautiful differences among us and we know that those play a role in how our brain works. More importantly, we have to understand how the healthy brain works so we can start to help avoid diseases like Alzheimer’s disease,” Huentelman said.

Dr. Matt Huentelman, Neuroscientist, TGen’s MindCrowd

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