UTSA researchers track brain health to combat Alzheimer's disease
SAN ANTONIO – Researchers at the University of Texas at San Antonio are studying brain health by monitoring and comparing healthy people against those with Alzheimer's disease.
The researchers are hoping they can see how diseases progress in the body and identify ways to slow or stop the progression using tracking devices and blood samples.
Associate Professor Amina Qutub leads the Quantu Project at UTSA.
"We are asking people to wear wearable devices where we can record what they are doing on a daily basis," Qutub said.
The project's ultimate goal is to try to figure out if changing a person's daily habit or behavior could help improve their cognitive health over their lifetime, Qutub said.
"One of the symptoms people associate with Alzheimer’s early stages is sundowning. So in the evening, people have erratic behavior or they can’t sleep late at night. Our goal is, can we do some small behavioral change that would lead to something that would change biologically that could improve not only their symptoms but their brain health?" Qutub said.
Students working on the project are trailblazers and said this could change how medicine is personalized.
"If you know more about your own brain's health, that will influence the types of care you can go through,” Kelsey Phelan, a Ph.D. student and graduate research assistant, said.
"A lot of the work hasn’t been done before, it’s been done very preliminary, so it’s really cool to be able to see the field where no one has really done this before,” Haydon Lynch, a graduate student researcher, said.
Qutub said they want to track thousands of volunteers. The project will be discussed at the fifth annual conference on Regenerative Medicine in San Antonio.
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