ADHD and Working Memory: Computer Training Shows Benefit

RitalinA recent study reported in Scientific American points the way towards a possible new treatment for ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD is a widely misunderstood condition which severely affects as many as one in a 100 children.

Many studies have already shown the benefits of medication – specifically Ritalin – in treating the condition. This is a stimulant that can improve ADHD dramatically, although exactly how it works remains a mystery.

One theory is that the problems associated with ADHD are partly a result of an impairment of working memory. This new research examines the possibility that a computer programme can be used to train working memory.

The outcomes from this study showed a significant benefit after training as rated by the children’s parents. To its detriment though, no benefit was seen by the children’s teachers. As ever, with brand new treatment methods, it remains to be seen whether these results can be replicated, and also whether teacher ratings will show an improvement.
Scientific American
Attention Research Update provides a summary of the research.

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Published: 13 July 2005

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