Health care professionals at the University North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth now have a new tool to help them evaluate Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children.
Between four to 12 percent of school-age children may have some form of ADHD, said James Hall, chair of department of health psychology at UNT Health Science Center. Symptoms include inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity. ADHD is notoriously difficult to diagnose, since other conditions such as childhood depression or anxiety disorders may cause symptoms similar to ADHD, he said.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, there appears to be a link between a person's ability to pay continued attention and measures that reflect brain activity. In people with ADHD, the brain areas that control attention appear to be less active, suggesting that a lower level of activity in some parts of the brain may be related to difficulties paying attention.
“Thanks to a new tool from Lexicor, we are able to measure the electrical patterns of a child’s brain and have it compared to data from children who have been identified with ADHD and those who have not,” Dr. Hall explained.
“This technique, called quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG), measures the brain’s electrical activities. Studies have shown that 90% of those diagnosed with ADHD have a slower pattern of electrical activity in certain areas of the brain than those without ADHD,” he said.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics in ADHD: A Complete and Authoritative Guide, QEEG “will help experts more clearly document the neurological and behavioral nature of ADHD, paving the way for better understanding and treatment of ADHD.”
“This is another, more physical assessment to help us in the evaluation of ADHD. It is combined with observation of the child’s behavior, development of a complete developmental history and a medical examination,” Dr. Hall explained.
Once the data is collected using a sensor-filled cap that fits over the child’s head like a swimming cap, the information is sent for analysis and a DataLex™ ADHD Indicator Report. This report offers the physician an objective analysis of ADHD and provides clear information for both physician and parent.
The non-invasive procedure takes about an hour to complete. Please call UNT Health Science Center at 817.735.2334 to schedule an appointment to discuss whether this new technology would be appropriate for you or your child.
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