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Doctor Uses Video Games To Treat ADHD

A <a href="http://www.wqad.com/Global/story.asp?S=5167491&nav=7k8p">new report</a> by Moline, Illinois' WQAD has highlighted a new experimental treatment for Attention De...

Jason Dobson

July 26, 2006

1 Min Read

A new report by Moline, Illinois' WQAD has highlighted a new experimental treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a medical condition the report notes that affects as much as six percent of the American population. However, unlike conventional medication, the new treatment involves the use of video games to treat the disorder. Dr. Margaret MacDonald, an ADHD specialist in San Jose California, currently treats ADHD using a system called SMART BrainGames, which uses video games as a stimulus for biofeedback and brain wave monitoring. The procedure requires a patient to wear a hat that is outfitted with sensors to monitor brain waves, and in order to be successful at the game the patient must emit the right sorts of waves. "If they don't do the right thing then they can't steer, and they'll crash and eventually the brain will keep trying to do what it has to do to succeed in the game," MacDonald noted. The report noted that early indicators are that this treatment is effective, and that it generally requires about 40 game playing sessions, each lasting between 20 and 30 minutes apiece. According to the report, a recent study found that use of both SMART BrainGames and standard biofeedback helped children improve attention, impulse and hyperactivity. However, a similar report noted that the costs associated with this treatment could range to $3,000 to $4,000, much more than conventional treatments, and that playing these games requires a kind of focus and concentration that many ADHD sufferers lack.

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