FDA approves ADHD test, but is it reliable? - KMSP-TV

FDA approves ADHD test, but is it reliable?

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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects 9 percent of adolescents in the U.S. and on Monday, the FDA approved the first device that they say will help confirm a diagnosis of ADHD in kids ages 6 to 17.

FOX 9 medical expert Dr. Archelle Georgiou says when it comes to ADHD, many parents are looking for a quantifiable, measurable test. Currently, doctors rely on physical and behavioral observations and exams while the new device measures brainwaves. It has been generating a lot of buzz since Monday, but Dr. Georgiou says the test may only serve to add stress for children and tack on unnecessary costs for parents.

The 15-20 minute procedure is an EEG that uses a computer program to measure alterations in brainwaves that could be diagnostic in ADHD.

Why so controversial? The FDA made the decision to approve this procedure based on a 2006 company-funded study of 278 kids. While the study suggests a correlation between brain waves and ADHD, other researchers aren't so sure this pattern indicates a child has the condition.

Ultimately, the threshold of data required to approve the procedure was low, Dr. Georgiou says.

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