A randomized controlled trial of a brain-computer interface based attention training program for ADHD.
PLoS One. 2019;14(5):e0216225
Authors: Lim CG, Poh XWW, Fung SSD, Guan C, Bautista D, Cheung YB, Zhang H, Yeo SN, Krishnan R, Lee TS
OBJECTIVE: The use of brain-computer interface in neurofeedback therapy for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a relatively new approach. We conducted a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to determine whether an 8-week brain computer interface (BCI)-based attention training program improved inattentive symptoms in children with ADHD compared to a waitlist-control group, and the effects of a subsequent 12-week lower-intensity training.
STUDY DESIGN: We randomized 172 children aged 6-12 attending an outpatient child psychiatry clinic diagnosed with inattentive or combined subtypes of ADHD and not receiving concurrent pharmacotherapy or behavioral intervention to either the intervention or waitlist-control group. Intervention involved 3 sessions of BCI-based training for 8 weeks, followed by 3 training sessions per month over the subsequent 12 weeks. The waitlist-control group received similar 20-week intervention after a wait-time of 8 weeks.
RESULTS: The participants’ mean age was 8.6 years (SD = 1.51), with 147 males (85.5%) and 25 females (14.5%). Modified intention to treat analyzes conducted on 163 participants with at least one follow-up rating showed that at 8 weeks, clinician-rated inattentive symptoms on the ADHD-Rating Scale (ADHD-RS) was reduced by 3.5 (SD 3.97) in the intervention group compared to 1.9 (SD 4.42) in the waitlist-control group (between-group difference of 1.6; 95% CI 0.3 to 2.9 p = 0.0177). At the end of the full 20-week treatment, the mean reduction (pre-post BCI) of the pooled group was 3.2 (95% CI 2.4 to 4.1).
CONCLUSION: The results suggest that the BCI-based attention training program can improve ADHD symptoms after a minimum of 24 sessions and maintenance training may sustain this improvement. This intervention may be an option for treating milder cases or as an adjunctive treatment.
PMID: 31112554 [PubMed – in process]