ADHD is a behavioural condition affecting up to fifteen percent of children in the UK. Symptoms include poor attention span, weak impulse control and hyperactivity
Lead researcher, Professor John Gruzelier from Imperial College London at the Charing Cross hospital says: "Research from America has shown that although manageable in up to sixty percent of children, ADHD is not curable, and up to seventy percent of children fail to outgrow it. Medication is available, but is only effective in less than half of all cases. This, combined with significant side effects, such as loss of appetite, headaches, sleeping problems, mood problems and growth reduction, means there is an urgent need for a more effective treatment."
The study will examine whether a therapy known as EEG biofeedback, or neurofeedback, can help to treat children suffering from ADHD. Neurofeedback is a process that will allow children to view their brain activity on a computer. Changes in cortical activity are fed back to the child in the form of visual and auditory images.
Research has shown that children with ADHD exhibit excess slow wave (4-8Hz) activity and reduced fast wave (12-20Hz) activity. The aim will be to correct this imbalance by training children to decrease slow wave activity and where appropriate increase the fast wave activity.
Professor Gruzelier adds: "As a treatment for ADHD, Neurofeedback has the potential to provide long term benefits in cognition and behaviour. Importantly it is non-invasive, has no known side effects and if proven successful may reduce dependency on Ritalin."
David Williams, Head of Research at Cerebra adds: "We are extremely pleased to be able to fund this project. Imperial are acknowledged leaders in this field, a
Contact: Tony Stephenson
Imperial College London