Quantu Project has the unique aim of using computational methods to analyze daily behavioral data in combination with cellular and molecular measurements to predict cognitive changes, and identify ways to slow decline or promote improvements on an individual basis. Quantu Project volunteers wear fitness devices allowing researchers access to exercise, sleep and other biological measurements that can be correlated to how their nervous system cells are functioning and to cognitive performance. As data is collected, patterns in behavior/neural activity can be isolated and studied further with the goal of discovering mechanisms causing neurodegeneration or accelerating its progression.
Combining Data Analysis and Medical Research
Using sophisticated data analysis techniques along with cutting edge biological research, Quantu Project is an ambitious undertaking launched at the University of Texas at San Antonio, in partnership with local medical centers and institutes across the nation, that focuses on mapping behavioral data to cellular function.
Current Research Projects
Circadian Rhythm Changes in Dementia
Sleep disturbances are some of the first symptoms that people in early stages of cognitive decline experience. By tracking sleep, circadian rhythm disruptions, and other daily activities, we can detect patterns, like sundowning, that can lead to earlier diagnoses. Linking these behavior changes to cell function, our goal is to identify and treat the biological mechanisms underlying cognitive changes.
Precision Medicine for Brain Health
Imagine a future where brain health is optimized throughout a lifespan, where cognitive decline is not an inevitable part of aging, and where safe therapies tailored to an individual maximize the brain's innate ability to repair and regenerate. This project takes a giant leap towards that goal by characterizing the way cells derived from test subjects become functional brain tissue, and identifying potential new drugs and therapies that change this process.
By studying the way human brain cells form networks in the lab, we capture not only the differences between healthy and diseased neural network formation, we also characterize how brain cells process information. Unraveling how brain cells actually learn and pass information as they develop is providing the basis for new machine learning algorithms and artificial intelligence models.