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Video Games Help In Study Of ADHD

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Researchers at The Ohio State University College of Medicine are conducting one of the first double-blind studies in the country to examine the effectiveness of neurofeedback in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Neurofeedback, also known as EEG biofeedback, is a method of training the brain to function more efficiently. The study measures the child’s brain waves while playing a video game. As they begin to lose focus on the game and their brain waves slow down, the child’s ability to control the game decreases and they are prompted to refocus, speeding up the brain waves.

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Until they regain the correct amount of focus on the game, as measured by their brain waves, the game ceases to function normally. Sensitivity of the game’s controllers will change based on the child’s brain waves.

“We are hoping, that as a result of this study, parents will have an alternative to medication for treating their child’s ADHD,” says Dr. L. Eugene Arnold, principal investigator of the study and a child psychiatrist at Ohio State's Nisonger Center.

The study will include 36 children between the ages of six and twelve. Each child will receive 40 treatments, either twice or three times a week. Participants, who will be monitored by doctors throughout the study, will not be permitted to take any type of medication for ADHD during the course of the 14-21 week study.