Video Game Shows Promise as Treatment for ADHD, Autism

January 22nd 2019
Cecilia Pessoa Gingerich
Cecilia Pessoa Gingerich

A pilot study has found that a video game designed to treat autism spectrum disorder and co-occurring attention/deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is acceptable to kids and parents, and feasible.

A pilot study has found that a video game designed to treat autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and co-occurring attention/deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is acceptable to kids and parents and feasible. While not statistically significant, investigators did report an improvement in measures of attention for children who played with the multi-tasking game.

The game, Project Evo, has beenpreviously studied in children with ADHD, but without co-occurring ASD. Investigators led by Benjamin Yerys, PhD, a child psychologist at the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, wanted to test the digital medicine tool with this unique population of children with both diagnoses.

The Project Evo game requires children to multi-task by switching between a memory-based task and a visuomotor task. The first requires players to tap the screen to choose a target from a few options, for example, a blue fish as the target with red and yellow fish as distractions, according to the paper. The second task consists of steering a hovercraft along a river. The game’s difficulty increases as the child progresses.

The educational game that children in the control group were given tasked them with generating ever-longer words from a pool of letters.

Children assigned to either group demonstrated high engagement with the games, indicating feasibility of the treatment. Despite the study’s small sample size—just 19 children—the CHOP team also measured promising trends in attention scores for the patients assigned to the multi-tasking game compared to those in the control group.

A version of the article was originally published by Md Magazine. VisitMdMag.comto view the full article,

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