Treating ADHD by Monitoring Brainwaves While Children Play a Video Game

Researchers in Singapore have recently created a system that combines neuromonitoring with video games to improve symptoms among patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This team consisted of scientists from the country’s Institute of Mental Health (IMH), Duke-NUS (National University of Singapore) Medical School, and A*STAR (Agency for Science, Technology, and Research). Neeuro Pte Ltd. is a Singapore-based company that is commercializing this technology, which was summarized in a research article published in the journal PLOS One.

A randomized controlled trial of this technology has shown success in the laboratory setting thus far, however, Neeuro is now taking its platform a step further. A further developed version of the technology is now being offered to a group of children with ADHD for use in their own homes.

This technology is composed of Neeuro’s electroencephalography “SenzeBand” and a Samsung tablet. The user places this brainwave-reading band on their head and plays a game called CogoLand, with the system tracking their mental focus and adjusting the gameplay accordingly.

adhd

CogoLand was developed using a decade’s worth of research data, leveraging brain-computer interface technology that uses machine learning artificial intelligence (AI) to create personalized attention training. The goal of this game system is not to replace ADHD treatments entirely, but to supplement them in improving patient outcomes.

In the previously conducted study involving the CogoLand game, children who went through training using the technology showed improvements in areas of the brain related to attention and task-orientation. These improvements were confirmed via functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

A new study involving this technology will analyze children with ADHD being treated by Singapore’s Institute of Mental Health. These patients will continue to receive their regular therapy and will have the long-term effects of this new, innovative therapy evaluated under the normal conditions of their homes.

“Our technology can accurately quantify a person’s attention level in real-time using a machine learning algorithm and, from there, develop a unique patented personalised training programme using a feed-forward concept for cognitive training,” explained Professor Guan Cuntai, technical lead of the system and scientific advisor to Neeuro. “Further improvements have been made in recent iterations by capitalising on the latest deep learning approaches with our large dataset.”