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Developers Hope New Video Game Will Substitute Medication in Helping Children Manage ADHD

Developers Hope New Video Game Will Substitute Medication in Helping Children Manage ADHD

Roughly one in nine U.S. children are diagnosed with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder annually, a statistic that has consistently been on the rise over time.

Given the fact that students with ADHD are more likely to have lower than average grades, a tendency to be disciplined with suspensions/expulsions and a decreased chance of finishing school, ensuring that affected students get the proper support is a nationwide concern. 

Unfortunately, this present focus on ADHD has also led to many misdiagnoses in children. Michigan State University estimated in 2010 that approximately 1 million children in the U.S. are misdiagnosed with ADHD.

Add in the fact that ADHD is treated with behavior-modifying stimulants such as Adderall and Vyvanse that come with harmful side effects such as insomnia, headaches, aggression and even more serious bouts of depression and suicidal ideation, misdiagnoses is a serious concern.

For this reason, many have sought out alternatives to help children with ADHD aside from behavior-altering medication.

One of these alternatives, and one of the more promising solutions, is called Project:Evo, a video game that seeks "to find a real solution to alleviating ADHD behaviors in an user-friendly way,” says The Seventy-Four.

Created by Eddie Martucci and Akili Interactive Labs, Project:Evo combines legitimate science with technology to captivate the minds of kids suffering from the symptoms associated with ADHD.

With neuroscientists on their side, the people behind Project:Evo are hopeful that the game which is in development will help users focus better and be better at multi-tasking, skills that have been tied to action video games in the past.

“Project:Evo…[doubles down] on the idea that video games are not only not ‘bad' for the ADHD child, as some parents might believe, but may just hold the key to unlocking a non-chemical solution. The stimulation that comes from a video game, the developers say, is actually a good thing in helping to train the brain to focus and control attention,” the article said.

Getting into the specifics, " Project:Evo targets a subject’s interference filter, which allows that person to focus on what he needs to focus on while filtering out all other distractions. The hardest thing for the ADHD subject’s interference filter to do, Martucci explained, is complete two tasks at once. The technology of Project:Evo that is built into the game is that it makes the user do two different tasks at once."

Project:Evo is still currently in clinical trials, and it will be a long road to getting FDA approval to reach the ultimate goal of having physicians prescribe it to children ADHD sufferers.

Martucci and his team, however, are optimistic.

Read the full story.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

1/22/2016

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