A randomized controlled trial of a brain-computer interface based attention training program for ADHD

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A randomized controlled trial of a brain-computer interface based attention training program for ADHD
Title:
A randomized controlled trial of a brain-computer interface based attention training program for ADHD
Journal Title:
PLOS ONE
Keywords:
Publication Date:
21 May 2019
Citation:
Lim CG, Poh XWW, Fung SSD, Guan C, Bautista D, Cheung YB, et al. (2019) A randomized controlled trial of a brain-computer interface based attention training program for ADHD. PLoS ONE 14(5): e0216225.
Abstract:
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.
License type:
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Funding Info:
This study was supported by a grant from National Medical Research Council of Singapore (URL: http://www.nmrc.gov.sg/). Grant Number CIRG11nov087 was awarded to TSL. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
Description:
ISSN:
1932-6203
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