POST 50
05/04/2016 12:03 pm ET

Play This Smartphone Game To Help Combat Alzheimer's

Guilt-free gaming.

A new smartphone game, released today, wants to use your gaming skills for Alzheimer's research. 

Sea Hero Quest, available on both Android and Apple devices, is a smartphone game that lets you sail around the world, collecting certain items, as your gaming skills help scientists collect data on your spatial navigation abilities. 

Trouble with spatial navigation is one of the early signs of Alzheimer's, and researchers are hoping that by collecting data from the game, they'll be able to create a sort of blueprint for a "normal" skill level. 

The game was designed through a partnership between Alzheimer's Research UK, Deutsche Telecom, University College London and the University of East Anglia. Researchers, who hope to reach at least 100,000 players by the end of the year, say even just a few minutes of play can be of service. 

"Fundamentally, people with dementia -- Alzheimer's dementia -- struggle to navigate and on a scientific level we don't know enough of how people navigate to help really pin down what's going wrong," UCL researcher Hugo Spiers told CNN. 

It's estimated that nearly 5 million Americans are living with the disease and that every 66 seconds another person develops it. 

Down the road, researchers say they can imagine using the game to help detect Alzheimer's early. There is no cure for the memory-stealing disease, so early detection is key to helping provide treatment and support to sufferers and their families. 

So go ahead and #gameforgood. 

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
10 Symptoms Of Alzheimer's
CONVERSATIONS