Lecturer in Game Design | PhD Student

Honours Blog

Alzheimers and Dementia Research

The Difference Between Alzheimer's and Dementia:

Before developing Forget-Me-Not I must first understand Alzheimer's disease and how this specific condition differs from Dementia. With very little understanding of the condition currently, the terms Alzheimer's and dementia are used in conversation under the impression that they are one and the same. This is actually not true; Alzheimer's disease is a form for dementia that affects the parts of the brain in control of thought, language and memory. Dementia is an all encompassing term for a set of symptoms that impair memory and thinking. When someone suffers from dementia their brain capabilities decline due to the dying of brain tissues, areas such as: Thinking, Memory, Mental Agility, Language and Communication Skills and Judgement are affected. 

Forget-Me-Not will be focusing on Alzheimer's disease as the focal point. To create a game that is a factual depiction of the condition as well as an engaging experience requires research into the symptoms and thinking about how to project these to the player. Alzheimers disease is a progressive condition which currently there is no cure for. The disease starts with small memory problems such as forgetting recent conversations and not managing to remember the names of places, people and the uses of objects. As the condition progresses, the patient can suffer from more severe symptoms such as:

  • Personality Changes - Aggression, suspicion etc.
  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Hallucinations (Seeing things that are not there)
  • Delusions (Believing things that are factually untrue)
  • Communication problems
  • Problems with eyesight

Other Facts:

There is currently medication which can slow the symptoms - which I may try to include in my game in some form or another - but sadly this medication cannot stop the condition completely. 

Alzheimer's disease is most common in people over the age of 65.

Women are slightly more at risk than men to get Alzheimers.