High School Students want advances in Alzheimer’s Disease Research
High school students voted for Alzheimer’s disease as disease of focus in 2011-2012 school year. Original fundrasier through Indiegogo was over but your continued donation on Alzheimer’s disease will be used on the research. Thank you for your support.
Currently 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and these numbers are rising. It is the 6th leading cause of death in America, and the only one in the top ten that cannot be cured or even slowed. Considering the severity of this disease and the number of both patients and caregivers whose lives it affects, Alzheimer’s disease is vastly under researched and underfunded. As volunteers at miRcore, a non-profit genetics research institute, we want to improve awareness, and advance research to reduce the impact of this terrible disease on society. We need early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease before the brain cells start to die or symptoms occur. This would allow treatment to be started at an earlier stage and would provide further insight to prevention options. Towards that goal, miRcore will perform research to find microRNA signatures from a simple blood test. You can help! Spread the word, advocate this project with us, and if you are in a position to do so please donate and encourage others to as well. None of this is possible without your support.
What is Alzheimer’s? –
In order to understand how Alzheimer’s affected a patient, we needed to learn about the way the brain worked. For example, the hippocampus, located in the limbic system, is responsible for forming new memories and storing long-term memory. Alzheimer’s first strikes parts like the hippocampus, which is why memory is so affected. The disease also creates tangles and plaques of neurons in the cerebrum, which leads to brain cell death and lower brain activity.
our foundational methods for identifying microRNA targets, developed at and under exclusive license from the University of Michigan, are patent-pending. We continue to develop methods in the RNA field. Collaborators: we have more than 20 active collaborators in the U.S. and Asia (Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Singapore, and Australia), including a one-year research contract through April 2013 with an intramural section of the National Eye Institute at the National Institute of Health.
What we will deliver:
We will identify potential blood biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and publish a paper in a peer-reviewed scientific journal (open-access).
What we want to achieve:
- Establish the practicality of general public-initiated research. Currently, we do not engage in any collaborative research on Alzheimer’s, all of our work being initiated by high school students. If high school students can initiate and move the field forward, why not others?
- Educate more people on what needs to be done to address Alzheimer’s disease.
- Prepare the general public for the coming surge in genomic medicine, raising awareness that although we cannot change inherited gene sequences, we can change gene expression through diet, actions, and experience.
Who Are We? – miRcore high school volunteers decided to focus on one disease per school year. The goal was to spread understanding of the disease to other members of community. We went through a process where each volunteer chose a disease they thought needed more advocacy or awareness. In 2011, we voted to research Alzheimer’s disease. While we researched, we met a woman whose husband passed away due to Alzheimer’s. The story of her husband touched us all, and reminded us that there was more to the disease than physical health problems: Alzheimer’s completely changed his personality. Alzheimer’s is not just a disease that affects one’s memory; it can also change one’s personality and thus his or her whole life.
What Is microRNA? –
MicroRNAs are small RNA about 22 nucleotides long. These microRNAs are responsible for the body’s protein regulation. By attaching to a complimentary section of RNA, the microRNA can stop the overproduction of bad proteins, such as those that create damaging plaques in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients. Conversely, if there is too much of certain microRNA, it can limit the production of good proteins such as those that help to clear away the plaques found in Alzheimer’s. Since microRNAs can be actively exported from cells, it may be possible to monitor brain cells’ status from blood. It is also possible that blood cells will exhibit early signatures in their microRNA expressions.
Why Indiegogo? –
Because Indiegogo is a crowd-funding site, by creating a campaign, not only are we raising money to help fund the research of Alzheimer’s, but we are also spreading awareness of this disease. This is vital because many people do not know much, or anything about Alzheimer’s, even though it is such a widespread disease. We, as high school students, want to spread awareness, raise money for research, and make a difference in the world we live in. Through Indiegogo, we can do all of this. Together, we can be the initiators of the advancement of research on Alzheimer’s. Provided by miRcore official
A 501(c)(3) non-profit research organization with a vision of global collaboration toward treating individuals based on their unique genetic profiles and environmental circumstances. We have three main branches: 1) a microRNA core, supporting other scientists’ research, 2) internal research, developing computational methods to understand biology, and 3) outreach, advocating personalized medicine in the post-genomic era.