FDA approves first brain wave test for ADHD

July 15, 2013

US regulators on Monday approved the first brain wave test for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, saying it may improve the accuracy of diagnoses by medical experts.

Cases of ADHD are on the rise in the United States, as are the number of prescriptions for stimulants doled out to young people who appear to have difficulty concentrating or controlling impulses.

The new , known as the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System, measures given off by neurons in the brain.

A 15-20 minute test calculates the ratio of certain brain wave frequencies known as theta and beta waves in children age six to 17.

"The theta/beta ratio has been shown to be higher in children and adolescents with ADHD than in children without it," the US Food and Drug Administration said.

"Diagnosing ADHD is a multistep process based on a complete medical and psychiatric exam," cautioned Christy Foreman, director of the Office of Device Evaluation at the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

"The NEBA System along with other clinical information may help more accurately determine if ADHD is the cause of a behavioral problem."

The FDA said the test "can help confirm an ADHD diagnosis" or help decide if further treatment should focus on "other medical or behavioral conditions that produce symptoms similar to ADHD."

The FDA approved the device after a reviewing it as a new and "low- to moderate-risk medical device."

Studies supplied by the manufacturer evaluated 275 patients using both the NEBA system and other standard protocols for diagnosing ADHD which include behavioral questionnaires, behavioral and IQ testing and physical exams.

An independent review found the device "aided clinicians in making a more accurate diagnosis of ADHD when used in conjunction with a clinical assessment for ADHD, compared with doing the alone," the FDA said.

The device is made by NEBA Health in Augusta, Georgia.

ADHD is believed to occur in five to 10 percent of US children. A recent analysis of US government data by the New York Times found that as many as one in five teenage boys is diagnosed with the disorder.

A study in the journal Pediatrics last year found a 46 percent rise in ADHD prescriptions from 2002 to 2010.

Explore further: Can breastfeeding protect against ADHD?

Related Stories

Can breastfeeding protect against ADHD?

May 14, 2013
Breastfeeding has a positive impact on the physical and mental development of infants. A new study suggests that breastfeeding may protect against the development of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) later in ...

Brain imaging shows how prolonged treatment of a behavioral disorder restores a normal response to rewards

June 28, 2013
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by abnormal behavioral traits such as inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. It is also associated with impaired processing of reward in the brain, meaning ...

90 percent of pediatric specialists not following clinical guidelines when treating preschoolers with ADHD

May 4, 2013
A recent study by pediatricians from the Cohen Children's Medical Center of New York examined to what extent pediatric physicians adhere to American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) clinical guidelines regarding pharmacotherapy ...

Long-term ADHD treatment increases brain dopamine transporter levels, may affect drug efficacy

May 15, 2013
Long-term treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with certain stimulant medications may alter the density of the dopamine transporter, according to research published May 15 in the open access journal ...

One in five US teenage boys diagnosed ADHD, report says

April 1, 2013
Nearly one in five American teenage boys is diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, marking a dramatic rise in the past decade, the New York Times reported on Monday.

Methylphenidate 'normalizes' activation in key brain areas in kids with ADHD

May 9, 2013
The stimulant drug methylphenidate "normalizes" activation of several brain areas in young patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), according to a review published in the May Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

Recommended for you

Nearly a third of college kids think ADHD meds boost grades

October 16, 2017
(HealthDay)—Many college students who abuse ADHD drugs mistakenly believe that doing so will lead to better grades, a new survey suggests.

School year 'relative age' causing bias in ADHD diagnosis, says research

October 9, 2017
Younger primary school children are more likely to be diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) than their older peers within the same school year, new research has shown.

Eye movements reveal temporal expectation deficits in ADHD

September 12, 2017
A technique that measures tiny movements of the eyes may help scientists better understand and perhaps eventually improve assessment of ADHD, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

ADHD medication tied to lower risk for alcohol, drug abuse in teens and adults

July 13, 2017
The use of medication to treat attention deficient hyperactivity disorder is linked to significantly lower risk for substance use problems in adolescents and adults with ADHD, according to a study led by researchers at Indiana ...

Video game promotes better attention skills in some children with sensory processing dysfunction

April 6, 2017
A video game under development as a medical device boosts attention in some children with sensory processing dysfunction, or SPD, a condition that can make the sound of a vacuum, or contact with a clothing tag intolerable ...

Children with ADHD often live in chaotic households

March 9, 2017
Researchers often observe inadequate parenting, a negative emotional climate and household chaos in families of children with ADHD. A research group at Goethe University Frankfurt and the universities of Bremen, Heidelberg, ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.