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ADHD Video game

Video Games: The newest treatment for ADHD

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The United States Food and Drug Administration, a.k.a. The FDA just approved a video game as a treatment for ADHD. Here are the details.

Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder is a learning disability common among kids and adults within the United States and around the world. The disorder is a mental health disorder that can cause above-normal levels of hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. Various methods have been used in the past to treat ADHD, but there is yet to be a cure.

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Current Treatments of ADHD include medication, which is the most commonly used, physical exercise, and stimulating the brain through different learning exercise. However, as of June 15, 2020, the FDA has approved the newest treatment for patients diagnosed with ADHD, a mobile game.

Endeavor is not a substitute for ADHD medication.

Endeavor is available through the app store, and players should note that it is not a substitute for medication. During clinical trials, 600 children, ages 8 through 12, with ADHD were studied. They played the game for 25 minutes a day for 5 days a week for a month. After this, researchers found that the subjects had an easier time concentrating on tasks via the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA). The game has gone through more than seven years of clinical trials. Now it is researchers are saying it is a possible treatment. You can now play the game without a prescription due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the FDA approved it as a prescription-only treatment.

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The company behind Endeavor, Akili interactive labs Inc. is a developer based out of Boston, Massachusetts. They are currently on their last round of fundraising (Series C), where they raised over $13 million from four investors. The company specializes in “digital therapy. “ It has future plans to develop digital treatments for other mental illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Autism.

Endeavor is the first game to gain approval to treat any sort of disability within the body. However, it will not be the last. As more games get approved to treat disabilities such as ADHD, it will be interesting to see its implications worldwide. Medication can be costly and unavailable to certain countries; however, if Endeavor is successful, it can be life-changing to third-world countries. 

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While studies were conducted by the developer of the game, the FDA approval of the treatment shows a considerable development to the future of video games in the medical field. With everyday augmented reality right around the corner, we will see a rise in digital treatments. The question for researchers and consumers moving forward is, will it work?

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