(CNN)Have you ever wanted to take to the seas on a global adventure? A new game available on smartphones worldwide from today does just that -- and could help dementia patients in the process.
The game, called Sea Hero Quest, asks players to set sail in search of precious artifacts -- in the form of memories -- which can be collected at different locations around the world.As you progress through the game, scientists can use the data you generate to gain insight into your spatial navigation abilities -- one of the first skills lost at the onset of dementia.
The aim is to get hundreds of thousands of people playing from around the world, to identify what the normal range of navigation skills are among people in general.
Once that is established, neuroscientists could then identify further guidelines to spot dementia early.How big a problem is dementia?
Despite being potentially preventable in one-third of cases, it's estimated that someone develops dementia globally every three seconds. In 2015, more than 46 million people were living with dementia worldwide, according to the World Alzheimer Report 2015.
The condition is a collection of symptoms, such as memory loss, difficulties in thinking or problem-solving, and reduced ability to navigate, and is caused by diseases including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.
"Dementia is increasingly becoming one of the greatest medical challenges we face globally," says Hilary Evans, Chief Executive of Alzheimer's Research UK.
Read more here : http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/04/health/dementia-game-sea-hero-quest/