Computer-based program can help alleviate some symptoms of ADHD in children

On individual measures, between one quarter and one third of children showed clinically significant advances in other words, progress to be easily visible to parents.The results showed that parents generally rated their children as improving inattention, the total number of ADHD symptoms, working memory, planning and organization and to initiate activities. These changes were evident both immediately after treatment and four months later.

This program seems to make a real difference to the majority of children with ADHD, said Steven Beck, co-author associate professor of psychology at Ohio State University.

Working memory is the ability to retain information long enough to reach a goal. For example, you have to remember a phone number long enough to dial the number. Students need to remember the passage from a book they just read, to understand what they are reading.

Beck led the study with Christine Hanson and Synthia Puffenberger, graduate students in psychology at Ohio State. Their findings are published in the November / December 2010 issue of the Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology.

The researchers tested the software developed by a Swedish company called Cogmed, in collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, a medical university in Stockholm.

The study involved 52 students aged 7 to 17, who attends a private school in Columbus, which serves children with learning difficulties, many of them were diagnosed with ADHD. All children used the software in their homes under the supervision of their parents and researchers.

Do not replace drugs but could be useful as an adjunct.

Beck said that they know is the first published study to test this program in the United States. One of the strengths of the study used a sample that is very typical of children with ADHD from other studies in Sweden had excluded children who were on medication.

Beck said that no one can say with certainty how the program works to help children with ADHD. But it seems that children learn to concentrate and use their working memory on everyday activities, and are able to use this knowledge in school and home.

The software includes a series of 25 exercises that students had to complete in 5-6 weeks. Each session is 30 to 40 minutes. The exercises are in a video game format and are designed to help students improve their working memory.

The researchers found significant changes for students who have completed the program in areas such as attention, symptoms, planning and organization, the tasks of initiation, and working memory.

Two other co-authors of the study were William Benninger, an assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State, and Kristen Benninger, a medical student at the University of Toledo.

It ‘s true, but also the parents of children who observe the day in and day out, and they who are most likely to observe the changes taking place, Beck said.

An intensive five-week memory training program work shows promise for alleviating some symptoms of hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder in children, suggests a new study.

In this example, 60 % of the students were on medication. The results showed the program was equally effective regardless of whether they were on drug or not.

Working memory is essential in everyday life, and certainly for academic success, but it is one of the things that is very difficult for children with ADHD, said Hanson.

The software is designed to improve one of the main deficiencies in people with ADHD working memory.

At first, the kids love it because it’s like a game, said Puffenberger. But the software has an algorithm that makes the exercises more difficult that the students get better. Thus, children are still under discussion.

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Teachers only see the kids for a few hours a day and have to do with many other children at the same time. It would be difficult for them to see changes, said Beck.

The researchers intend to extend the work with more objective measures of children’s progress after using the program.

One possible criticism of the study could be that is based on reports from parents, and parents may be biased.