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Dementia Study Helped By Online Game About Lost Sea Hero

Update Date: Nov 19, 2016 02:36 AM EST

Recently, a popular online game named Sea Quest Hero have helped in the researches of dementia, helping the researchers with important preliminary information about orientation skills of human beings.

The game, which has been developed by Deutsche Telekom, in collaboration with Alzheimer's Research UK, has generated data  to create a global benchmark for human brain's navigational process, since its introduction in May 2016.

According to the scientists, the game has been played more than 2.4 million times across the globe, providing the researchers with 9,400 years' worth of data, reported Business Insider. Furthermore, the reports suggest that it can be used to diagnose dementia at an earlier phase.

Statistically, the number of dementia patients in 2015 was approximately 47.5 million, and that is increasing rapidly, with increase in life expectancy, according to World Health Organization (WHO). It is anticipated that the numbers will rise to 75.6 million by 2030.

Dementia, which is incurable presently, is caused  by brain diseases like Alzheimer's Disease, and can affect  memory, change in behavior,  and the ability to perform daily activities, among other issues.

"The findings the game is yielding have enormous potential to support vital developments in dementia research," mentioned Hugo Spiers, the lead researcher and a neuroscientist at Britain's University College London.

Incidentally, the benchmark established by the initial data from the Sea Hero Quest, makes it easier for the researchers to find the earliest spatial navigation changes or cues to look for in dementia patients. Strangely, the reports suggest that the Nordic nations performed better than the rest, according to Wired UK.

This in turn makes dementia identifiable during its early stage, thereby providing physicians a way to curb the disease. Moreover, due to the game's data,  the game could also be used in future drug trials, believed the researchers.

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