Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a leading cause of death and dementia among the elderly, affecting nearly 40 million people worldwide. In addition to its devastating effect on patients and its emotional toll on their families, the societal costs of AD are estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars, yet there are no effective treatment options available today.
To better understand the causes and risk factors associated with Alzheimer's Disease, scientists at several leading research organizations have joined forces to establish the Compute Against Alzheimer's Disease research initiative — a collaboration to conduct deep in silico investigations into AD using the collective computational power made available by volunteer providers of computing capacity, like yourself.
We currently support two highly promising AD research projects:
The first, Genetic Predictors of AD Risk, seeks to identify genetic biomarkers that, in combination, can be used to accurately predict one's risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease. Using software developed with funding support from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, we are employing search algorithms able to explore the vast collection of possible gene interactions for AD risk association more deeply than has ever been performed.
The second project, Modeling the Cytotoxicity of Aβ Peptides in AD, which is partially funded by the National Institute on Aging, uses computer simulations to investigate how Aβ and other similar peptides interact with cell surface membranes. These peptides are thought to be responsible for neuronal cell death in Alzheimer's patients and an understanding of the molecular mechanisms of their cytotoxicity could help scientists devise effective AD treatments.
How You Can Help
By simply installing a small software application that, like a screensaver, only operates while your computer is idle, you can donate the unused, otherwise wasted processing power of your computer to help in the fight against Alzheimer's Disease.
The Parabon Frontier Compute Engine software, which runs under Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X, aggregates computing capacity from thousands of computers just like yours to address computationally intensive research questions that would otherwise remain unanswered.
You can periodically inspect the scientific output Frontier generates or just "set it and forget it." Either way, participating in the Compute Against Alzheimer's Disease program is rewarding, educational, and best of all, it supports a worthy cause.Download Frontier