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Video Game-Like Intervention May Aid Children With ADHD

Attentional functioning improved in four-week trial for children receiving intervention versus control

THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Among children withattention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), performance in attentional functioning was significantly improved at four weeks in those receiving a digital intervention versus control sessions, according to a study published online Feb. 24 in The Lancet Digital Health.

Scott H. Kollins, Ph.D., from the Duke University Medical Center, in Durham, North Carolina, and colleagues randomly assigned 348 pediatric patients (aged 8 to 12 years, without disorder-related medications) with confirmed ADHD to either AKL-T01 (180 children) or a digital control intervention (168 children). AKL-T01 is a digital therapeutic targeting attention and cognitive control through a video game-like interface via at-home play for 25 minutes per day five days per week for four weeks.

The researchers found that the nonparametric estimate of the population median change from baseline on the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA) Attention Performance Index (API) was 0.88 (95 percent confidence interval, 0.24 to 1.49; P = 0.0060). The mean change from baseline on the TOVA API was higher in the AKL-T01 group versus the control group (0.93 versus 0.03). The researchers recorded no serious adverse events or discontinuations. Mild treatment-related adverse events included frustration (3 percent) and headache (2 percent). The investigators note that patient compliance was a mean of 83 percent for the sessions played.

“These findings have implications for clinical practice, as AKL-T01 is a safe and easy-to-access intervention that could address various intervention needs for pediatric patients with ADHD and without comorbid conditions (i.e., attention deficits), but cannot replace current standard of care,” the authors write.

Akili Interactive Labs funded the study.

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