Scientists have created a new smartphone game that may help determine how dementia affects the brain and improve approaches to detect the disease early. Scientists, including those from University College London and the University of East Anglia in the UK developed Sea Hero Quest, a smartphone game that may help to build the largest crowd-sourced database on human spatial navigation.
People with dementia can face real challenges with navigation, and it is a problem that can occur early on in the condition. Researchers do not have reliable data on how navigational abilities can change in the healthy brain across life. Playing the game for just a few minutes will provide this completely anonymous data to help improve understanding of navigational cognition, researchers said.
The game could pave the way for improved approaches to early disease detection, in turn helping improve peoples chance of benefiting from new or existing treatments earlier, they said.
Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life.Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia.
Other than this researchers have previously developed innovations like, Reminders that help keep properties and loved ones safe when the caregiver can’t. These messages are recorded on a device in the home and then played back out loud at the appropriate time. Clocks specifically designed for those with Alzheimer’s and dementia can help ease anxiety associated with a diagnosis. Someone who has dementia may confuse night and day and an easy to read clock can help them distinguish the time. Medication management technology can be as simple as a pillbox marked with days of the week, or as high tech as automated pill dispensers which beep and open to remind caregivers and those with dementia to take their medication. Location tracking devices are also a great option for those who have Alzheimer’s or dementia and may wander. Tracking devices can be worn or attached to the person in some way and many have alert systems that let a caregiver know if their loved one has left a certain area.
Specifically designed for people who cannot remember phone numbers and may need to contact someone quickly. These phones have large numbers and are pre-programmable with frequently called phone numbers. Some of the phones come with clear buttons where photos can be placed so that the person can just push the button associated with the photos to make a call.