When a Game with a “Different Purpose” Helps Study Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia – Multimedia

When a Game with a “Different Purpose” Helps Study Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia - Multimedia

With Sea Hero Quest VR you can “reproduce highly reliable lab experiments that would simply be impossible to reproduce in a mobile context,” read the game's website. For example, the game highlights the “Morris Water Maze” experience, a navigational task that studies memory and learning the concept of space.

In an interview with Digital Trends, Glitchers co-founder Max Scott-Slade assumes that it is only after demonstrating the results that have emerged about the game that many people have accepted this challenge.

"People who were once skeptical of the project are beginning to believe that the game really serves the purpose that was created."

Developing scientists Hugo Spiers and Michael Hornberger are now confident of launching more features in Sea Hero Quest. However, Hugo is discouraged that there are no more games with similar purposes.

"I find it a bit depressing how few gaming companies have associated a positive image, such as why not play Fortnite and help solve health problems in society?"

The game took home nine awards at the 2016 edition of the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, even becoming the most downloaded application in the world.

A job that has just begun

Now the plan is to spend the next 10 years analyzing the data provided through the game and checking which users will be affected by Alzheimer's disease or dementia. In addition, a new test will be started with 10,000 people who have used the game since 2016.

As the medical community rallies around Sea Hero Quest's findings, Glitchers is developing the RV version with additional options for doctors and other users to study for themselves.

According to 2019 data from the World Health Organization, dementia affects 50 million people worldwide, a syndrome that causes the deterioration of memory, thinking, behavior and the ability to perform daily activities.

Alzheimer's disease in particular causes a global, progressive and irreversible deterioration of various cognitive functions such as memory, attention, concentration, language and thought. This condition is the most common form of dementia, accounting for 60 to 70% of cases.

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