Online game about lost sea hero helps scientists studying dementia

By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) – An online game following the journey of an elderly former sea explorer who has lost his memories has helped scientists lead a vast international dementia study and given important preliminary results about human orientation skills. The game, called Sea Quest Hero and developed by Deutsche Telekom and Alzheimer’s Research UK, was launched in May and has already generated enough data to help create a global benchmark for the human brain’s navigational processes and how they vary between men and women, and between the young and old. It has been played more than 2.4 million times worldwide, giving more than 9,400 years’ worth of equivalent lab-based research, the scientists said on Wednesday – and is showing the potential to be able to help diagnose dementia earlier.

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