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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

UCSF Researchers Create Brain Registry Hoping to Find Cures for Neurological Diseases

Posted By on Wed, Apr 9, 2014 at 7:44 AM


Technology is being used to find everything from threesomes to voting. So why not use it to help understand our brains better?

Researchers at UC San Francisco have set about to do just that. Launched this week, the Brain Health Registry is an online database that streamlines the process of recruiting subjects for brain diseases such as Alzheimer's, and making that research from clinical trials available to the public. Rosenberg Alzheimer's Project as well as The Ray and the Dagmar Dolby Family Fund are funding the project.

The subjects will take an online neuropsychological test that researchers can then use to study brains and how they change as they age. The registry has also partnered up with Lumosity, a brain training and neuroscience research company that is helping to recruit subjects and to create some of the online tests.

Volunteers can participate in trials to test cures for neurological diseases. Douglas Rosenberg from the Rosenberg Alzheimer's Project thinks that the registry could be a cost-effective solution to clinical trials that sometimes draw on for lengthy periods of time.

"For those of us who know people suffering from Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, PTSD and other brain disorders, this is a way we can be involved in the search for a cure," says Rosenberg.

Normally, clinical trials are expensive to run and finding patients can often be time-consuming. Michael Weiner, a neurology professor at UCSF and principal investigator of the registry, says that the database will help expedite the clinical research process.

"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," says Weiner.

Any information you submit to the registry will remain confidential. Feel free to sign your brain up here.

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Melissa Hellmann


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