Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) is one of the most common childhood brain disorders. Symptoms of ADHD/ADD typically continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty sustaining one’s attention, staying focused, controlling impulses, controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity). These symptoms interfere with a child’s and adult’s life. The symptoms of ADHD/ADD can make it problematic for a child to succeed in school, get along with one’s peers or adults, or finish tasks at home. Oftentimes, the problems persist into adulthood and individuals find it difficult to function at work and/or home.
Advances in technology have allowed for the introduction of the first brain wave test to diagnose attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This new diagnostic technology will be hitting the market following recent approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is permitting marketing of a medical device that for the very first time will be used on children aged 6 to 17 years as part of a complete medical and psychological examination, that will help confirm a diagnosis of ADHD.
The device is called the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System. Based on electroencephalogram (EEG) technology, the 15- to 20-minute noninvasive test calculates the ratio of theta and beta brain waves. Experts have shown the theta/beta ratio to be higher in children and adolescents with ADHD than in children without it.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 9% of US adolescents have ADHD. The average age of diagnosis is 7 years. Children with ADHD often have co-occurring disorders shared such as anxiety or depression, which can make the condition difficult to diagnose conclusively.
The hope is that the system, combined with other clinical information, will help health care providers more accurately determine if ADHD is the cause of behavioral problems. With improved diagnostic tests and diagnosis, ruling out the condition of ADHD will be helpful in providing answers to concerned children and families. In addition, with accurate diagnosis, treatment recommendations can be made that will provide suggestions in managing this condition more effectively in a way that will helpful and allow for a child to be more successful in various domains that include school, friendships and home.
By Aleksandra Drecun
A.C.T. will provide free resource information for individuals and families to help promote education. For more information, please contact Dr. Drecun at Dr.Drecun@a4ct.com or (858) 792-3541. You may also visit us online at www.a4ct.com. ACT serves the Del Mar 92014 and Rancho Santa Fe 92067 area