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Play a mobile game to advance Alzheimer’s research

May 25, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Senior Editor
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Sea Hero Quest is more than an epic adventure. It’s a real-life quest to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease.

Sea Hero Quest is a mobile game specifically designed to study spatial navigation, one of the first symptoms of the disease that make it difficult for people to navigate in familar places and environments.  

As players make their way through mazes of islands and icebergs, game developers and scientists can translate every second of gameplay into scientific data. Two minutes spent playing Sea Hero Quest is equivalent to five hours of lab-based research.

“This project provides an unprecedented chance to study how many thousands of people from different countries and cultures navigate space,” says Professor Michael Hornberger, a professor of applied dementia research at University of East Anglia who was involved with the game’s development, in a university news release. “This will help shed light on how we use our brain to navigate and aid in future work on diagnostics and drug treatment programmes (sic) in dementia research.”

Data collected will be anonymized and stored securely within T-Systems data center in Munich in accordance with Germany’s strict data security laws. Ultimately, the data will be used to create a global navigation benchmark, a key step to developing disease diagnostic tests.

Saatchi & Saatchi developed the game in partnership with Glitchers, University of East Anglia, Alzheimer’s Research, University College London and Deutsche Telekom, owner of subsidiary of T-Mobile US, Inc. Sea Hero Quest is free to download globally on iTunes and Google Play store.

Watch the game trailer below:

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