In a new study, researchers have developed a new video game that can detect people at risk of Alzheimer’s.
The video game is called Sea Hero Quest, and people can play it on their mobile phones.
The video game is designed by Deutsche Telekom in partnership with Alzheimer’s Research UK, University College London (UCL), the University of East Anglia and game developers.
So far, the game app has been downloaded and played by more than 4.3 million people worldwide.
In the current study, the team examined how people who are genetically predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease play this game differently from people who are not.
They tested 31 volunteers carried the APOE4 gene, which is known to be linked with Alzheimer’s disease, and 29 people did not.
All of the players make their way through mazes of islands and icebergs in the game. The research team is able to translate every 0.5 seconds of gameplay into scientific data.
The results could show how the brain works in relation to spatial navigation.
The researchers found that people with a high genetic risk (the APOE4 carriers) performed worse on spatial navigation tasks. They took less efficient routes to checkpoint goals.
The finding shows that the game could help distinguish people are genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease from those who are not.
The researchers suggest that the finding is important because a standard memory and thinking test could not distinguish between the risk and non-risk groups.
In addition, the current diagnosis of dementia is based on memory loss, which occurs at the late stages of the disease.
Previous research has shown that spatial navigation problems and awareness deficits can occur much earlier in dementia.
The game uses the information to help detect dementia much earlier than before.
The researchers believe their new video game could help detect people who are at genetic risk of Alzheimer’s.
It helps scientists get one step closer to a life-changing breakthrough.
The lead author of the study is Prof Michael Hornberger, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School.