Video Games and ADHD

In a previous blog entry, we discussed how at the Sachs Center we implement video games into our therapy sessions with some patients. Although understandably strange to some newcomers, the idea of using video games as a viable treatment method for ADHD, ADD, or autism has been gaining considerable traction in recent years.

In Helsinki, this past year has been full with considerable movements in developing video game play for the treatment of ADHD/ADD symptoms. The research is centered on the idea of neurological testing for ADHD and therapy—the idea that by changing your behavior and actions you can change the way your brain functions.

Currently, research is based on using brainwave scanning technology to monitor activated brain regions while playing video games. Researchers then observe and analyze which areas of the brain they wish to target. By recognizing what triggers activation of different regions of the brain, researchers and game developers are able to design and develop video games that can stimulate the desired areas of the brain needed to help handle the symptoms of ADHD. Helsinki gaming companies, including Angry Birds developers Rovio, have recently received almost 800,000 Euros from investors. This game has the ability to address ADHD symptoms.

It’s exciting and empowering to see the passion, demand, and dedication put in to finding new and complementary ADHD treatments. It’s unlikely that video games will become the main treatment for ADHD. But developing alternative treatment methods that are fun and effective is exciting and promising for the future.