U.S. regulators OK first brain-wave test for ADHD


U.S. regulators Monday approved the first brain-wave test for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, saying it may improve the accuracy of diagnoses by experts.

Cases of ADHD are on the rise in the U.S., as are the number of prescriptions for stimulants doled out to young people who appear to have difficulty concentrating or controlling impulses.

The Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid System measures electrical impulses given off by neurons in the brain. A 15-20 minute test calculates the ratio of certain brain wave frequencies known as theta and beta waves in children age 6 to 17.

“The theta/beta ratio has been shown to be higher in children and adolescents with ADHD than in children without it,” the Food and Drug Administration said.

The FDA said the test “can help confirm an ADHD diagnosis” or help decide if further treatment should focus on “other conditions that produce symptoms similar to ADHD.”