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Online brain training game to be trialled for Parkinson's disease

MyCognition's AquaSnap Optimize aims to tackle cognitive impairment

MyCognition AquaSnap 

An online brain training game is set to enter clinical trials to assess its effectiveness at tackling the cognitive impact of Parkinson's disease.

AquaSnap Optimize sees players become underwater photographers tasked with completing missions and taking pictures of fish from multiple undersea environments.

The game's makers, MyCognition, say it has been designed as a non-invasive medical device and provides patients with a personalised training programme.

AquaSnap is currently available as an iPad app for adults (as AquaSnap Optimize) and in two versions for children, one of which is for those aged eight and older with special educational needs.

The Parkinson's trial of AquaSnap Optimize will take place at centres in The Netherlands, initially with 40 patients but with the aim of involving 222 participants.

The trial will use MyCognition's MyCQ measurement tool to assess participants' cognitive function and then provide patients with a personalised online training programme.

Once they have that participants will be asked to play the game around three times a week for 30 minutes at a stretch.

Dr Beckie Port, senior research communications officer at Parkinson's UK, said: 

“Research such as this has the potential to help people with Parkinson's stay as independent as possible when going about their day-to-day life and allow greater control over their condition. If successful we look forward to seeing this training programme implemented more widely.”

While the main symptoms of the disease, and the majority of research to date, relates to the body's movements, at least a third of patients also suffer from cognitive impairments.

The training programme can be used by patients either at home or in a clinical setting, with the first trial results expected next year.

Ahead of that a game developed a team that includes Alzheimer's Research UK is expected to release its first data results in November. The Sea Hero Quest game aims to aid the development of new diagnostic tests to show when spatial navigation skills are failing.

22nd June 2016

From: Research

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