One symptom of Alzheimer’s that has been known since the discovery of the disease is reduced blood flow to the brain, but until now, nobody knew why. That is why this aspect of the disease, which likely contributes to cognitive problems and accelerates injury to brain cells, has remained untreated.
New specialized imaging techniques have allowed our Cornell University collaborators to discover a potential causal mechanism underlying the reduced blood flow. So for the first time, we have an explanation for this aspect of Alzheimer’s Disease. This explanation points to new treatments that could substantially slow progression of the disease and delay, or even prevent, the onset of symptoms.
However, homing in on the specific pharmaceutical targets using current methods would take about 60 years, limited primarily by the need for extensive manual image analysis. By crowdsourcing the blood flow analysis to citizen scientists, we expect to reduce that time to less than two years.