450 million people suffer from mental health conditions worldwide and a further 50 million are currently living with dementia

Download the app and help solve the biggest mystery in brain science

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The more you play the more we learn! 

 

Help Solve One of the Biggest Mysteries in Brain Science 

50 million are currently living with dementia, a figure which is set to increase substantially as worldwide populations age and people live longer. Dementia differs from normal aging in that our cognitive functions, or how we think and remember things about ourselves and others, begin to breakdown. We have some theories as to why this happens and in some specific cases what might prevent it but we simply don't know enough to help the millions of people who suffer from dementia on a daily basis. However, all is not lost, what we do know is that that there may be early warning signs which if detected, could allow us to put treatments in place years before disease onset. It's too early to say with certainty but we hope that once we can detect the disease early, we can stop it from progressing completely.

Mental health conditions affect 1 in 4 people around the world. Through decades of research, we have identified important risk factors for mental health like early stress or neglect, and have built an enormous body of knowledge regarding cognitive and brain changes that go hand in hand with mental illness. This research has typically taken a bird’s eye view - studying groups of people and looking for associations with diagnostic categories like depression. Unfortunately, it has proven difficult to use these insights to make predictions about individuals.

 

At Neureka, we want to change that. We want to conduct the largest and most detailed study of YOU that has ever been attempted. By playing games and telling us how you feel, day by day, we aim to figure out how mental health issues evolve over time. We want to know why some people are more resilient than others, how emotions like mood, irritability and motivation interact with one another and the environment and how they can kick-start vicious cycles that are difficult to break free from.

How can you help? 

You can help by downloading the app and join the Citizen Science movement. Citizen science asks you, whoever you are, wherever you are and whatever your background, to help us tackle some of the biggest challenges facing society today. 

HOW IT WORKS

01

Become a Citizen Scientist 

02

Unlock the Science Challenges 

03

Play  Games Daily

At Neureka, we think that everyone should be able to participate in science, that’s why we are taking experiments out of the lab, and into your smartphone. The Neureka app containing fun games and questionnaires will shortly be available to download from the Google Play or Apple Store. Download the Neureka app and you can become a “Citizen Scientist” and participate in one of the biggest neuroscience studies of all time! 

When you enter the app, you can take part in our Science Challenges. Science Challenges contain combinations of games and questionnaires that tell us things about how your brain works and interacts with the world around you. Take part in the ‘Risk Factors’ challenge to contribute to the science of early dementia diagnosis or ‘Multi-Mood’ to contribute to the neuroscience of depression. The more science challenges you complete the more achievements you collect and the more you contribute to science

Every minute you spend completing science challenges, playing games and completing questionnaires in the app helps us move the needle forward in the global fight against Dementia and Depression. Join us and make a difference to science and to people’s lives across the world. We can only make a difference with your help!

Taking experiments out of the lab and into your smartphone

Memory Match 

The Science


Research suggests that difficulties linking different forms of memory together (e.g. shapes and colours) is impaired very early on in dementia (potentially 10 years before diagnosis). It is thought that this is because the parts of the brain that link these memories together is one of the earliest to be affected by the disease.

 

The  Neureka Project 

OUR STORY

The Neureka project is a research project run by researchers in the Trinity College Dublin Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI). The project will develop a free smartphone app that contains games and questionnaires which smartphone users can download, play and complete on their phone. Data from this smartphone app (from the games and questionnaires) will be sent to the researchers and analyzed to identify cognitive markers that are signs of an individual’s risk of developing Dementia in the future. In the longer term, we hope to use this data to screen for individuals at risk of developing Dementia. 

OUR VISION

Treatments exist that can modestly impact the symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) but there are no disease-modifying treatments that can prevent disease onset or slow progression. Our Vision is being able to detect Alzheimer’s disease in at-risk patients and ultimately provide interventions that can slow, if not, completely deter the onset of the disease.

TECHNOLOGY

A smartphone app is a novel tool that can be used for screening for Dementia risk across large samples around the world and be a valuable means of identifying at-risk individuals. Future treatments of Dementia are most likely to be effective if started early but we first have to identify at-risk individuals to deliver these interventions to. The smartphone app will aid in the assessment of Dementia risk at a scale not currently possible using current methods such as brainscans or face-to-face screening. In this way, the smartphone app will help identify at-risk individuals for future treatments and thus contribute to helping to prevent

Dementia

 

The Team 

CLAIRE GILLAN
 
PROJECT DIRECTOR AND CHIEF SCIENTIST 
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EOGHAN GALLAGHER 

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER 

OWEN LYNCH
 
 UX DESIGNER/ PROJECT LEAD
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Sean Kelley
Research Scientist  

Neureka is brought to you with funding support from the Global Brain Health Institute at Trinity College Dublin and Science Foundation Ireland 

 

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The Gillan Lab

Trinity College Dublin