Video game could treat ADHD

Instead of using a pill to treat ADHD, one company is attempting to get FDA approval for digital treatment.

The FDA could decide if a video game can be used to treat ADHD.

Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs says they now plan to file with the FDA so that AKL-T01 can be available as a prescription-only treatment for ADHD. Therapeutic Pediatrics Dr. Sally Fryer Dietz is hesitant.

“Play a video game for 30 minutes five days a week and it would improve their attention. But, the problem is with any kind of computer-based program, especially the treatment of an attention, is that it’s using their visual pathways, but not their whole body,” said Fyer Dietz.

She said 30-minutes a day of jumping on a trampoline might do better than 30-minutes on a video game.

“Where these interactive games is a great option for a video game where you’re using your body and mind altogether. But, to just recommend to a video program, I would be very skeptical,” said Fyer Dietz.

She says one of the greatest things you can do for a child who has ADHD is to get them out and be physical.

The video game has not been tested against medications or psychotherapy to see how the effectiveness compares. ADHD treatment in development is not yet available to the market. It’s not known when the video could be available, pending FDA approval.

In September, the FDA approved Boston company Pear Therapeutics’ mobile app to help patients with certain substance use disorders.

In November, the FDA approved a pill you can swallow that tracks every time you took the schizophrenia medicine.

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