The Food and Drug Administration on Monday for the first time gave a green light to a game-based therapeutic: a video game meant to be prescribed to kids with ADHD.
The game, known as EndeavorRx and developed by Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs, can now be marketed as a way to improve attention function in kids with ADHD as measured by computerized testing. Physicians can prescribe it to children between the ages of 8 and 12 who have an ADHD diagnosis and have demonstrated an issue with attention.
The FDA’s move is a landmark decision in the emerging digital therapeutics sector: In addition to being the first game to be marketed as a therapy for any type of condition, EndeavorRx is the first digital therapeutic meant to improve symptoms associated with ADHD, the FDA’s announcement said…The game was born in the University of California, San Francisco lab of neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, and was licensed out by Akili, which polished and tested the game in clinical trials. Akili spent the past two years waiting on a regulatory decision from the FDA.
Over the past 15 years there has been growing awareness that many college students without an ADHD diagnosis use ADHD drugs. On some campuses, rates of self-reported non-medical use have exceeded 30% of students.
The primary reason students report taking ADHD drugs is to enhance their academic performance. And, the strong majority of students — over 80% in a study I conducted — believe it is helpful for this purpose.
Furthermore, students who report problems with attention are more likely to report non-medical use than other students; this suggests that some self-medicate to address their perceived attention difficulties. [Read more…] about Study finds mixed results of Adderall as cognitive enhancer (seems to boost emotion more than cognition)
Time for a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring this time 14 timely news and resources for mental health and brain health innovation.
First of all, let’s remain safe, healthy, and centered during the current health crisis by following these tips provided by the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley:
1. Stay calm and focused
2. Pay attention to those doing the right thing
3. Show gratitude
4. Remember our common bonds
1) “Of course, all of these guidelines don’t supplant the importance of practicing good hygiene. We need to continue to frequently wash our hands and avoid touching our faces, so that we can lessen the chance of infecting ourselves and others. But we also should remember our mental hygiene—staying calm ourselves, being grateful especially to those doing the right thing, and remembering our common humanity. In this way, we can help to make the world safer for all of us.” Four tips to practice good mental hygiene during the coronavirus outbreak
2) “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.”
–Alexander Graham Bell
Thankfully, neurotech pioneer Tan Le outlines several areas where we can take a practical approach to address changes already underway and lay the groundwork for a more seamless transition to a new era. Fast Forward to 2040: How to prepare for the new era in brain enhancement that will change the way we think, work, and heal
3) Here’s a beautiful way to explore the anatomy of brain regions and brain functions. The Virtual Brain Web Atlas: How the Mind emerges from the Brain
4) “Before students decide to slip in their earbuds, though, they should carefully consider both their musical selection and the nature of the task” … because “We found that (1) music generally impaired complex task performance, (2) complex music facilitated simple task performance, and (3) preference for external stimulation moderated these effects. Therefore, the data suggest that music’s effects on task performance depend on the music, the task, and the performer” Does music facilitate or impair cognitive task performance? It depends…
5) Because learning cannot, must not, ever stop: Meet the Top 50 finalists for the Global Teacher Prize 2020
6) Any plans for the summer? Four ways hiking promotes cognitive and emotional health
7) Harnessing tech to promote social connectedness: Every Wednesday starting today we can join scientist/ entrepreneur Rana el Kaliouby online to discuss her new book! Virtual book tour to explore the frontier of Emotional Intelligence and Technology
8) On-field or off-field, training goes on: Sports teams find creative ways to cross-train the brain off-field
9) “You Can’t Manage What You Can’t Measure” hasn’t yet reached public health … but it will. To screen, or not to screen (for dementia), that is still the question
10) Summarizing a recent study, “children’s sleep should be evaluated as part of an ADHD evaluation as sleep difficulties are more common … addressing sleep issues in children with ADHD is a feasible and relatively low-cost approach that can be a valuable treatment component for many children.” Study: A brief sleep intervention can bring measurable and sustained benefits to children with ADHD
11) Some may and will disagree, but net net this offers a major opportunity to harness smartphone use data for good: Verily and LivaNova accelerate efforts to detect and treat depression
12) Potential big news in the neuromodulation market; coronavirus or not we all have awesome brains and will experience brain/ mental health needs in the future: Medtronic might acquire LivaNova’s neuromodulation business
13) What if “An employer wants to reduce the risk of on-the-job disability, so it screens applicants for neurological markers that they are predisposed to chronic pain and depression…” Let’s anticipate the potential misuse of neurological data to minimize the risks–and maximize the benefits
14) The first brain teaser/ test here is especially relevant these days … Seven fun brain teasers to honor our unique Brains and Minds during Brain Awareness Week 2020
Have a good and healthy Spring,
The SharpBrains Team
Sleep problems are common in children with ADHD, are more persistent than in the general population, and often exacerbate difficulties associated with ADHD. For example, poor sleep can enhance difficulties with attention and concentration that most youth with ADHD experience.
Research has shown that brief sleep interventions can improve sleep in youth without ADHD who experience sleep difficulties. However, [Read more…] about Study: A brief sleep intervention can bring measurable and sustained benefits to children with ADHD
Time for a new edition of SharpBrains’ e‑newsletter, featuring a range of research findings, resources, brain teasers and riddles to help translate emerging neuroscience into real-world applications and improve our collective brain & mental health.
- Neuroscience tips about gratitude, aging, pain and the brain: An interview with Dr. Daniel Levitin
- What’s normal? When it comes to the brain, it’s hard to say, and that’s why we need to study global neurodiversity
- Will self-driving vehicles lead to a surge of brain training?
- How to remember what you read: Eight tips to improve reading speed and cognitive ability
- To boost your mental well-being, simply recall, right now, an act of kindness
- Machine-learning study finds EEG brain signatures that predict response to antidepressant treatments
- Study finds combined pharma + non-pharma treatment most beneficial to help youth with ADHD address long-term academic difficulties
- Ambitious International Brain Initiative (IBI) launched to advance global neuroscience research
- Large study finds positive yet mixed results from Akili’s digital therapeutic for kids with ADHD
- U.S. Army develops novel way to analyze brain imaging data and shape emerging non-invasive neurotechnology
- Meditation app Headspace raises $93 million to accelerate clinical validation and geographic expansion
- Digital mental health taking off in Europe
Fun brain teasers:
- Train your brain to think outside the box with these fun riddles
- Three illusions to test your perceptual and cognitive skills
- Math brain teaser: Will you finish your thesis on time?
Have a great month of March,
The SharpBrains Team
“A full transcript of STARS-ADHD — the pivotal trial of Akili Interactive’s video game-like pediatric attention deficit treatment — has been published in The Lancet Digital Health journal, providing onlookers a clear view of data fueling the digital therapeutic company’s pending FDA submission [Read more…] about Large study finds positive yet mixed results from Akili’s digital therapeutic for kids with ADHD