Local Students Raise Funds for Alzheimer’s Research


The fundraisers and their success as of June 3rd. See here at: http://www.mircore.com/page/vote

People in the US spend 2 billion dollars a year on popcorn. They spend one-fourth this amount on research to cure, treat, and prevent the sixth leading cause of death in the United States: Alzheimer’s Disease.

Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease during which neurons die, causing problems with memory, thinking, behavior, and eventually basic and necessary motor functions such as eating and breathing. It affects more than 5 million patients and countless family members and caretakers today. For a sixty-year-old woman, the chances of developing Alzheimer’s are almost twice those of developing breast cancer.

There should be a cure, and there is a way to help.

High school volunteers with Ann Arbor-based nonprofit organization called miRcore are working toward finding a cure for this disease. They are fundraising for three different campaigns: Alzheimer’s Disease Big Data DREAM Challenge,  microgrant research at the University of Michigan, and for student Alzheimer’s Disease research. The group hopes to raise a total of $12,150 by June 18.

$8,650 of that is for the research of Dr. Sami Barmada, physician and researcher at the University of Michigan, on the molecular causes of cell death in Alzheimer’s. Barmada will use a special microscope to track specially synthesized, fluorescently-tagged proteins through the lives of neurons. He hopes to uncover just how neurons are killed in Alzheimer’s by watching the movement of proteins just before a cell dies.

Another $2,000 will go towards the high school students involved in the fundraiser to carry out an Alzheimer’s-related experiment. “It is a really cool opportunity for students to be able to do something that has a real application and I think it is really motivating to make you work harder on it. I know it isn’t something that you just turn into a teacher to get a grade because it could really have an effect.” said Community senior Cassidy Durkee.

The remaining $1,500 will pay for the winners of the Alzheimer’s Disease Big Data DREAM Challenge, an open contest in which contestants develop innovative methods to analyze Alzheimer’s data, to travel to a conference where they will present their findings. The organizers hope the travel award will encourage more high-level researchers from around the world to apply their skills toward Alzheimer’s research.

They also hope to change the overall financial situation of Alzheimer’s research. “We are fundraising for Alzheimer’s because we see the lack of funding that is going into it. If no one else is going to do it, then we as high school students should set an example.” Young Lee, Huron senior and miRcore volunteer, explained.

The money given to any of the campaigns will go to a good cause. Donate now to help cure this disease.





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miRcore logo