A New, Better Way to Diagnose ADHD?


adhdLike many people, I get lots of emails, especially newsletters from different organizations. But there’s one newsletter I read religiously because I always find the cutting-edge information reported to be fascinating. It’s called the Attention Research Update and it’s written by David Rabiner, Ph.D., a research professor at Duke University. I was especially interested in his latest topic about a new way to diagnose ADHD.

Over the years, I’ve seen the condition overdiagnosed and underdiagnosed because the criteria for meeting the identification can be subjective. Finally, science is catching up by providing objective, data-driven information that can help clinicians make an accurate diagnosis.

The FDA has just approved a new device designed by Neba Health that works for children from six to 17 years old. It uses electroencephalogram (EEG) readings to track the brain’s electrical nerve impulses. In just 20 minutes, doctors can get scientific data to determine whether ADHD is present or not. Although the test won’t be used in isolation (other information such as the child’s educational and behavioral history should also gathered) it is a good step in the right direction for giving parent’s confidence in their child’s diagnosis.

TIME magazine just published an easy-to-read article on the topic called Reading the Brain: FDA Approves First Scan for Diagnosing ADHD. In addition, you can read Dr. David Rabiner’s more in-depth article on this new way to diagnose ADHD.