Sea Hero Quest: Using Video Games to Diagnose Dementia

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Dementia research has been a slow process that has unfortunately not brought us much closer to understanding the condition. However, a new research method is currently being used to gather data at a rate 150 times faster than traditional methods. By designing a new mobile game called Sea Hero Quest, researchers are hoping to raise awareness of dementia and yield results by calling on the public to engage in an enjoyable activity. Placer County dementia care experts want to share some details about this revolutionary game and the impact it can have on dementia research.

The Basics of the Game

Sea Hero Quest is available across multiple platforms, and anyone with access to a mobile device can play. During the game, players are given a backstory involving their mission to navigate through a route their father once used to collect all of his memories. As they play, they are tasked with going through certain checkpoints, which assesses how well they rely on memory for navigation.

The Type of Data Collected

Certain elements included in the game were designed to provide in-depth data. For example, when a player is asked to memorize a map, certain portions may be blurred out. Also, fog and salient landmarks are included in portions of the game. This helps researchers understand if certain elements alter a person’s spatial navigation. It is also important to note personal data such as gender, age, and geographic location are used to determine if these factors play a role in the ability to navigate efficiently.

Connecting the Data to Dementia

With a large pool of healthy people playing Sea Hero Quest, researchers are able to gather data that can be used to determine a baseline for what constitutes normal navigation. Since difficulty with spatial navigation is one of the earliest signs of dementia, knowing when it has reached an abnormal level can help with early detection of the condition. If the experiment is successful, researchers believe diagnosing dementia may one day be as simple as having a physician review a brain scan as a person plays the game. It is also hoped this information will help develop ways to assess the effectiveness of new therapies and medication meant to reduce the symptoms of dementia.

Mental stimulation is important for all seniors, not just those with dementia. If your loved one needs more opportunities to engage in brain-boosting activities, turn to Home Care Assistance. The activities we provide through our proprietary Cognitive Therapeutics Method have been specifically designed to help slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on senior care Placer County, Granite Bay, and Folsom seniors can rely on, call one of our qualified Care Managers at 916.226.3737 today.

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