A video game is helping improve focus and decrease hyperactivity in children diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to results found in a new study by NeuroPlus Inc.
NeuroPlus develops brain-sensing technology in an effort to "improve cognitive performance in children and adults." The company was started by Jake Stauch, a former researcher at the Duke Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, in 2010.
The study, titled Efficacy of a combined neurofeedback, biofeedback and go/no-go training intervention for ADHD: a randomized controlled trial, was headed up by Duke University neuropsychiatrist and director of the Neuropsychiatric Clinic at Carolina Partners in Mental Healthcare Dr. Sandeep Vaishnavi and studied 60 children between the ages of eight and 13. The children were either assigned to play video games created by NeuroPlus encouraging focus for 30 minutes three times a week or continue their existing treatment. After 10 weeks of study, with evaluations taking place before and after the study, Dr. Vaishnavi found "improvements in the NeuroPlus group relative to the treatment-as-usual controls."
"There is need to continue this course of study, but this type of training shows promising options for families looking for alternatives to support individuals with ADHD," the doctor said.
"We're excited to see these results, showing NeuroPlus could address the needs of parents hoping to reduce inattention and hyperactivity in their children while also giving anyone, regardless of age, a way to sharpen and improve their focus," NeuroPlus chief executive officer Jake Stauch added.
NeuroPlus' video games are available on both iOS and Android stores. Requiring a special electroencephalogram headset and a monthly subscription, the games' objectives are to focus on an objective in an effort to lower hyperactity in the user. One game, called Axon, requires a player to focus on helping a dragon fly. The stronger a player's focus, and if they sit still well enough, the faster the dragon will fly.
Though its products are developed to aid those with ADHD, NeuroPlus stresses its games are not medical treatments.