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Dementia research is constantly turning up new findings, but there is still much that is not understood about the disorder. Engineers recently developed Sea Hero Quest, a multi platform mobile game that may yield clues regarding the changes in a person’s spatial navigation capabilities due to dementia. Redondo Beach dementia care experts want to share some information on spatial navigation and how it relates to this exciting new game.
Spatial navigation is the way a person uses memories to move through familiar and unfamiliar environments. For example, you might be able to walk through your home in complete darkness without hitting furniture if you do not have dementia. However, changes in the brain that affect spatial navigation often leave seniors with dementia unable to navigate through their own homes. Since this is one of the first signs of dementia many people display, having a stronger understanding of normal spatial navigation abilities may help physicians detect the disorder earlier.
In Sea Hero Quest, the player is an explorer on a mission to recover memories for his or her father. As players travel along the same route as their father and search for these memories, their positions are constantly being relayed back to researchers. The game is challenging enough to be engaging to the players, and everyone who plays gets to know they are helping dementia research. According to the researchers, 100,000 people playing Sea Hero Quest for 2 minutes can provide the same amount of information as at least 50 years of research, which means this game might yield much faster results than traditional methods for understanding dementia.
Currently, research regarding dementia has been at a standstill due to a lack of data. The Sea Hero Quest experiment allows more data to be collected from a wider selection of people. Using this data, researchers can then begin putting together information about how people with dementia and those who are healthy navigate through their surroundings. By establishing a basis for normal patterns of spatial navigation, researchers hope to be able to change how dementia is detected and treated.
If your elderly loved one has been diagnosed with dementia or has been exhibiting possible symptoms of the condition, consider keeping him or her engaged in mentally stimulating activities. At Home Care Assistance, we provide an activities-based program called the Cognitive Therapeutics Method (CTM), which was designed to help slow cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia. For more information on CTM and the senior home care Redondo Beach seniors and their families can count on, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (310) 504-0506 to schedule a free in-home consultation.