Building a navigation game that helps screen and treat patients with Alzheimer’s
Alzheimer's disease causes significant memory loss and negatively affects cognitive abilities such as spatial navigation. However, few widespread treatments and tests can effectively screen and help patients with Alzheimer's. Studies have shown that spatial navigation tests can be more accurate than traditional tests in screening for Alzheimer's, presenting itself as a low-cost alternative. Serious games, another innovative approach in Alzheimer's research, have proven more effective than traditional medications in treating dementia, often caused by Alzheimer's. To expand on these findings, a spatial navigation game was created where users go through a maze to find the end, testing their spatial navigation skills and memory. The game procedurally generates mazes and adjusts the maze difficulty using Artificial Intelligence (AI), eventually rating the user's performance based on the distance the user traveled, the shortest path, and the path's difficulty. The game can differentiate players based on their navigation and memory through these adjustments and ratings, presenting itself as a potential early identifier for patients with Alzheimer's and other cognitive diseases. Given that spatial navigation is distinguishable from other cognitive functions, spatial navigation games could be highly beneficial when screening and treating patients with Alzheimer's, helping to track and assess cognitive behavior, brain training for improved cognition, and providing preventive measures.
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