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Belleville Citizen Science Day 2019 Focuses on Alzheimer's

 

March 21, 2019

The community is invited to celebrate International Citizen Science Day on Saturday, April 6, 2019, from 10:00 a.m.-Noon, at the Belleville Public Library and Sugar River Senior Center. This year's celebration will bring all generations together to learn about Alzheimer's Disease, currently the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Participants will have opportunities to develop empathy via a "Virtual Dementia Tour" by Azura Memory Care and to join 100,000 other citizen scientists in libraries across the country helping Cornell University advance Alzheimer's research by playing the Stall Catchers video game.

In the video game, players aged 6-92 watch movies of blood vessels in mouse brains to guess whether each blood vessel is clogged. The average human guess is more accurate than automated data processing techniques. Game play empowers scientists to test potential treatments for Alzheimer's Disease. It also empowers players to work toward a cure, rather than merely accept the symptoms. Bring your own smartphone, tablet or laptop to play, or borrow a computer from the library.

Alzheimer's currently has no cure, and 10% of senior citizens already live with Alzheimer's Dementia. The Virtual Dementia Tour is an "unnerving and eye-opening" ten minute simulation of their experience. Participants wear special shoes, gloves, headphones, and goggles to explore the perspective of people for whom they may someday provide care. Call the Senior Center at (608) 424-6007 to ensure your reservation. Empathy is key to making Belleville a "Dementia-Friendly Community".

Many members of our community have been touched by Alzheimer's and there may be other ways we can respond. Expert caregivers and researchers will be on hand to help fuel discussion. What should we expect in the years to come as more people are diagnosed with Alzheimer's and the search for treatments advances? What else can we do as a community to support each other?

Citizen Science Day is an annual event celebrated around the world to raise awareness of science, which is conducted for fun or for moral reasons, rather than for money.

"The power of citizen science is the massive impact that is made by everyday people, individually and collectively," said Darlene Cavalier, founder of the SciStarter website used by over 100,000 citizen scientists. In previous years, Citizen Science Belleville has hosted Citizen Science Day events in our community has helped with climate change measurement (for NASA), new drug discovery (for U of OK), and mapping mosquitoes that may carry Zika (for FDA).

About Citizen Science Belleville

Citizen Science Belleville is an open group of volunteers who meet 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., on 1st and 3rd Mondays at Grace United Methodist Church, 246 W. Pearl St., Belleville, WI, to conduct replication studies advancing health, relationships, and/or well-being. Inquiries and concerns may be directed to Chris Santos-Lang at (920) 747-0335, langchri@gmail.com; Betsy Blum at (608) 239-5249, gumcadmn@gmail.com; or Meredith Smith at (608) 835-6120 x3412.

About the Sugar River Senior Center

The Sugar River Senior Center is located at 21 South Vine Street, in Belleville, WI. Inquiries may be directed to Amanda Meade at (608) 424-6007 or srseniorcenter@outlook.com.

About the Belleville Public Library

The Belleville Public Library is located at 130 South Vine Street, in Belleville, WI, providing safe learning spaces for people of all ages. General inquiries and comments may be directed to Bronna Lehmann at (608) 424-1812 or blehmann@blvpl.org.

 
 

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