According to the most recent findings related to dementia treatment research, the ability of navigation declines all life. This happens to be the largest dementia research experiment in the world. The research is based on "Sea Hero Quest," a video game downloaded by 2.4 million users.
The research findings were shown at the Neuroscience 2016 conference. The University College London researchers believe the findings can help in dementia tests. As the navigational ability declines, people start getting lost more often, which is one of the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Hugo Spiers presented the findings at the conference. He said the accuracy of the research is better than any previous research of this kind. According to him, the findings have enormous possibilities to support major developments in dementia treatment research. Spiers said it would be a huge milestone to diagnose dementia at an early stage before a patient shows signs of memory loss.
Sea Hero Quest is an adventure game which is about saving lost memories of an old sailor. Gamers are able to sail a boat while touching the smartphone screen. The boat moves around icy oceans and desert islands. While it seems to be another adventure game, researchers record the gamer's navigational skills while they play the game.
Scientists analyze the information gathered from the game. They have now found that navigational skills decline after the teenage years. This means, as people get older, they gradually lose the sense of direction. According to the BBC, 19-year-old gamers have 74% accuracy in navigation, while it is 46% for 75-year-olds.
"This study is thus now giving us the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of millions of people living with dementia and those at risk of developing the disease in the future," The Guardian quoted Spiers as giving major details regarding dementia treatment research.