Video Game-Based ‘Digital Medicine’ May Benefit Kids With Autism And ADHD: Study

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Mental Health News– Researchers of the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have developed a video game-based treatment tool, specifically designed for children with autism and co-occurring attention/deficit-hyperactivity disorder.

The researchers conducted a study at the Center for Autism Research (CAR) in collaboration with Akili Interactive, a prescription digital medicine company. Akili designed EVO, a video game-based investigational medicinal tool that delivers sensory and motor stimuli through an action video game experience.

The researchers monitored 19 children aged 9-13 who were diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). They provided the children either the EVO treatment or an educational activity involving pattern recognition.

The study found that EVO treatment helped the autism children improve their attention. This specific treatment also helped the children with ADHD reduce the severity of their symptoms. The study proved that EVO is the most feasible and acceptable therapy for treating children with autism and ADHD.

“Our study showed that children engaged with the Project: EVO treatment for the recommended amount of time, and that parents and children reported high rates of satisfaction with the treatment,” said Benjamin Yerys, first and corresponding author of the study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

A study reveals that around 50% of children with ASD experience some ADHD symptoms also, with only 30% of them receiving a secondary diagnosis of ADHD. As ADHD medications are less effective in children with both disorders, researchers were exploring alternative treatments for solving this issue. This EVO medical tool has pioneered the path of treating both autism and ADHD in children.

To Know More You May Refer To:

Yerys, B.E., Bertollo, J.R., Kenworthy, L. et al. Brief Report: Pilot Study of a Novel Interactive Digital Treatment to Improve Cognitive Control in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Co-occurring ADHD Symptoms. J Autism Dev Disord 49, 1727–1737 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-018-3856-7

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