New App Developed At Utah State Can Reduce The Risk Of Alzheimer’s
Researches at Utah State University have been working in coordination with researchers at Ulster University in Belfast Northern Ireland to develop an app to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
The Gray Matter’s app is still in the research stage of development, but Maria Norton, a family, consumer and human development professor at Utah State, said they have seen progress in better understanding the disease that effects more than five million Americans.
“There’s nothing we can give people today—not a pill, not a shot, not even a lifestyle intervention—that will guarantee that they won’t get it,” Norton said. “But what we’re trying to do is help bring all the scientific knowledge to date and deliver this to the individual citizen out there in the community so that they can at least statistically lower their risk or the chances of getting it. And if that’s all we have to offer in today’s modern medicine then that’s what we should be giving people.”
The app focuses on helping people better understand and set goals to improve physical activity, diet, stress levels, social engagement, cognitive stimulation and sleep. According to Norton, all of these factors are related to brain health and can help reduce the chances of getting Alzheimer’s later in life.
Norton said the idea to help people improve their lifestyles isn’t completely new, but it is new to use the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as the motivation to create that change.
“The Gray Matters app is like no other,” Norton said. “It is the first app in the world, to our knowledge to review the scientific literature about all the different lifestyle factors and behaviors that we can do that in fact influence our brain health. It synthesizes that down and delivers that to the user of this app in nice daily messages that are digestible and understandable.”
The app is available in a beta version on the Google Play store, but Norton said they hope to have the app available to the public in the next two years.