Dementia research through gaming

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We know that there are lots of mobile apps and games on the market that can help people with brain stimulation and lessening the risk of developing dementia, but did you know there is also a popular game out there that has been made in order to gather research on dementia?

Sea Hero Quest has been created by scientists at University College London and University of East Anglia and Deutsche Telekom, in collaboration with Alzheimer’s Research, to test players’ navigational abilities.

Getting lost is one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer’s and this has been incorporated into the game in order to create a benchmark for the navigational ability of healthy people.

Players have to save an old sailor’s lost memories by sailing a boat around desert islands and across oceans. The game records the player’s sense of direction and navigational abilities and sends the data back to the creators.

By playing the game for only two minutes, users can generate the same amount of data scientists would usually take five hours to collect in lab-based research.

The research has already shown that spatial navigation capabilities begin to decline from age 19 and that there are fundamental differences in the spatial navigation strategies between men and women.

People of any age are welcome to play the game, the more people that play the better as this will help to build a bigger database of research.

The game has become the largest dementia study in history with three million people having played it already.

It is a great culmination of science and gameplay that will change the way dementia research is done forever.