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Initial study finds promise and limitations in using virtual reality (VR) to treat ADHD

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Giv­en the lim­i­ta­tions of exist­ing evi­dence-based ADHD treat­ments, i.e., stim­u­lant med­ica­tion and behav­ior ther­a­py — research on nov­el inter­ven­tion approach­es con­tin­ues to be impor­tant.

Cog­ni­tive train­ing is one such approach that has been sug­gest­ed as a poten­tial adjunct or even replace­ment for med­ica­tion treat­ment. While cog­ni­tive train­ing takes dif­fer­ent forms, e.g., com­put­er­ized atten­tion train­ing, work­ing mem­o­ry train­ing, the basic idea is that by repeat­ed­ly prac­tic­ing cog­ni­tive tasks relat­ed to atten­tion, one’s abil­i­ty to focus and attend will improve. In oth­er words, Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Early-childhood attention skills help predict long-term academic success better than IQ, socioemotional skills, or socioeconomic status

kids hands—–

Which ear­ly child char­ac­ter­is­tics pre­dict long-term aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment and edu­ca­tion­al attain­ment? Research has focused on the role of ear­ly aca­d­e­m­ic skills, learn­ing enhanc­ing behav­iors, and socioe­mo­tion­al com­pe­ten­cies as pre­cur­sors of aca­d­e­m­ic suc­cess. Iden­ti­fy­ing the rel­a­tive con­tri­bu­tion of each to children’s long-term aca­d­e­m­ic achieve­ment is impor­tant as it can inform the skills on which ear­ly edu­ca­tion pro­grams should focus. Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Neurofeedback brain training can complement ADHD stimulant medications

schoolSchool-based brain train­ing shown to alle­vi­ate ADHD (The Boston Globe):

With more than one in 10 chil­dren diag­nosed with atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der, par­ents and doc­tors alike have been eager to find alter­na­tives to pre­scrip­tion stim­u­lant med­ica­tions like Rital­in or Adder­all. Some of these options include Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Emerging brain computer interface can monitor and train attention in unmedicated ADHD children

Train­ing pro­gram improved inat­ten­tive symp­toms in chil­dren with ADHD (Healio Pedi­atrics):

An 8-week inter­ven­tion with a brain-com­put­er inter­face-based atten­tion train­ing pro­gram sig­nif­i­cant­ly improved inat­ten­tive symp­toms asso­ci­at­ed with atten­tion-deficit/hy­per­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der in chil­dren aged 6 to 12 years, accord­ing to recent study results Read the rest of this entry »

Long-term effects of neurofeedback treatment for ADHD

Neu­ro­feed­back — also known as EEG Biofeed­back — is an approach for treat­ing ADHD in which indi­vid­u­als are pro­vid­ed real-time feed­back on their brain­wave pat­terns and taught to pro­duce and main­tain pat­terns con­sis­tent with a focused, atten­tive state. This is often done by col­lect­ing brain­wave, i.e., EEG, data from indi­vid­u­als as they focus on stim­uli pre­sent­ed on a com­put­er screen. Their abil­i­ty to con­trol the stim­uli, for exam­ple, keep­ing the ‘smile on a smi­ley face’, is con­tin­gent on main­tain­ing the brain­wave pat­tern being trained.

Neu­ro­feed­back sup­port­ers believe that learn­ing this dur­ing train­ing gen­er­al­izes to real world sit­u­a­tions and results in improved atten­tion and reduced hyperactive/impulsive behav­ior. Although a num­ber of neu­ro­feed­back stud­ies have yield­ed promis­ing results it remains some­what con­tro­ver­sial with some researchers argu­ing that lim­i­ta­tions of these stud­ies pre­clude firm con­clu­sions about the effec­tive­ness of neu­ro­feed­back from being drawn.

Last year I reviewed a par­tic­u­lar­ly well-con­duct­ed study of neu­ro­feed­back treat­ment for ADHD — see my review here. The study was con­duct­ed in Ger­many and began with 94 chil­dren aged 8 to 12. All had been care­ful­ly diag­nosed with ADHD and over 90% had nev­er received med­ica­tion treat­ment. About 80% were boys.

Chil­dren were ran­dom­ly assigned to receive either 36 ses­sions of neu­ro­feed­back train­ing or 36 ses­sions of com­put­er­ized atten­tion train­ing. The com­put­er­ized atten­tion train­ing task was intend­ed to serve as the con­trol inter­ven­tion and pro­vid­ed equal amounts of time work­ing on a demand­ing cog­ni­tive task under the super­vi­sion of an adult; the inclu­sion of this con­trol con­di­tion is a real strength of the study.

The main find­ings were as fol­lows: Read the rest of this entry »

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