A specially designed mobile phone game can detect people at risk of Alzheimer's - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

As players make their way through mazes of islands and icebergs, the research team are able to translate every 0.5 seconds of gameplay into scientific data.

The results, published in the journal PNAS, show that people who are genetically at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease can be distinguished from those who are not on specific levels of the Sea Hero Quest game.

The findings are particularly important because a standard memory and thinking test could not distinguish between the risk and non-risk groups.

Lead researcher Prof Michael Hornberger, from UEA's Norwich Medical School, said: "Dementia will affect 135 million people worldwide by 2050.

The data collected by the Sea Hero Quest app is vital for research - because every two minutes spent playing the game is equal to five hours of lab-based research.

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