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A new computer game is helping people with ADHD

FILE - A new app-based game intends to train an ADHD child’s brain to be more capable of multitasking and block out distractions. Success is measured via an algorithm, which adjusts the difficulty accordingly. A woman on her smartphone on a street in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, July 22, 2016.Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

FILE - A new app-based game intends to train an ADHD child’s brain to be more capable of multitasking and block out distractions. Success is measured via an algorithm, which adjusts the difficulty accordingly. A woman on her smartphone on a street in Tokyo, Japan, on Friday, July 22, 2016.Photographer: Kiyoshi Ota/Bloomberg

Published Jul 13, 2022

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A new computer game is helping people with ADHD.

Kelcey Sihanourath and her 13-year-old son Owain play EndeavorRx – the first prescription video game that has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of attention deficit-hyperactivity Disorder – to help with his concentration.

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The family, who live in Savannah in the US state of Georgia, tried occupational therapy and medication to help with his neurological condition but wanted to do something else as they were "hoping for something more, for any other option".

She told BBC News: “I could see him struggling to understand why he was not able to focus, and the frustration he had when he tried so hard and would still get distracted. It broke my heart, but I felt trapped and completely useless."

The app-based game, which involves controlling an alien racing a spaceship in various worlds collecting items, was made in collaboration with neuroscientists and is mean to engage and improve sections of the brain that play integral parts in attention levels.

It intends to train a ADHD child’s brain to be more capable of multitasking and block out distractions. Success is measured via an algorithm, which adjusts the difficulty accordingly.

Kelcey admitted to being sceptical but after a three-month stint of playing it 25 minutes a day, she was more convinced after noticing improvements in his behaviour and from his teachers.

Eddie Martucci, the CEO of Akili, the developer’s of the game, says the game is meant to increase cognitive progression.

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He said: "It is something that's very difficult to get through molecular means, like taking a pill. But it turns out that sensory stimuli can actually directly stimulate parts of the brain controlling cognitive function."

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