Smartphone Game ‘Sea Hero Quest’ Can Help Detect People Who Are At Risk Of Alzheimer’s, Reveals Research

‘Sea Hero Quest’, which is downloaded and played by more than 4.3 million people globally, has helped researchers from the UEA to understand dementia. (image via game website)

Researchers from the University of East Anglia (UEA) believe that a specially designed smartphone game can detect people who are at the risk of Alzheimer's, News18 reports.

‘Sea Hero Quest’, which is downloaded and played by more than 4.3 million people globally, has helped researchers from the UEA to understand dementia by studying how the brain works concerning spatial navigation.

The game is developed by Deutsche Telekom, who partnered with the Alzheimer's Research UK, University College London (UCL) and the UEA. During the research, the team studied data from 27,108 players in the UK between the age of 50-75 and compared it with the smaller lab-based benchmark data of 60 people who had undergone genetic testing.

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The team translated every half second of the gameplay into scientific data as players were making through mazes of islands and icebergs in the game and studied the difference between the people who are genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s play the game to people who are not.

The results were published in the PNAS journal shows that people genetically at the risk of developing Alzheimer's can be differentiated by people who are not on specific levels in the game. The findings are vital as a standard memory, and thinking test would not be able to spot the difference between the risk and non-risk groups.

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