ADHD Detection may help diagnosis
A recent study led by researchers at Yale University show that it is possible to tell if someone has ADHD or not, just by looking at the brain. The team used a functional MRI machine to measure the brain of 25 people while performing a monotonous task. The patients were given pictures of mountains of cities in black and white. When a picture of a city came up, they were asked to hit a button and do nothing if it was a picture of a mountain. By identifiying patterns, they were able to predict the patient’s ability to focus.
The team also used MRI results from an unrelated study in China about ADHD, which furthered their initial findings. Monica Rosenberg, a graduate student and lead author of the study mentioned that they were able to predict a child’s attention level based solely on the MRI. “When we predicted that a child would do really well on the task, they had a low ADHD score. And when we predicted that they would do really poorly on the task, they had a high ADHD score, indicating that they have a severe attention deficit”.
While this study does make some interesting observations and may be useful for assisting in the diagnosis of ADHD, it may not be helpful for all types of attention deficit. ADHD is one disorder that decreases attention, but there are also others that would not be picked up by the scan.
This new potencial ADHD detection system will help families and psychologists, as the more personalized the diagnosis, the more effectively they can treat the underlaying problem.
See the article from NPR.