'Six-Minute' Brain Wave Study diagnoses ADHD

7 June 2010

A 'six-minute' analysis of brainwaves that can detect Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has won Dr Jong-Won Kim and recent graduate, Dr Cliff Kerr, of the University of Sydney's School of Physics, the international 2010 BRAINnet Challenge.

Jong-Won Kim & Cliff Kerr.
Jong-Won Kim & Cliff Kerr.

"It still has to be refined, of course, but using our method to detect ADHD, we hope will eventually lead to a more accurate diagnosis for patients," said Dr Kerr.

The joint entry focused on demonstrating that several methods show potential use in diagnosing ADHD, including visual evoked potential mean voltage, de-trended fluctuation analysis, and heart rate auto-correlation. Based on a simple combination of these methods, a diagnostic measure was developed with a specificity and sensitivity of 75%, results that are comparable to existing quantitative EEG methods, which use far more parameters.

These findings will be investigated on larger sample sizes, increasing their statistical significance and allowing refinement and augmentation of the diagnostic method.

Drs Kerr and Kim plan to hone their research even further. "There are many children on prescription drugs for ADHD. Our method will be able to check whether or not they really need to be. Winning the BRAINnet Challenge is a great encouragement for our continued research into this area."

BRAINnet is an international scientific network that enables its members to access data on a range of areas relating to the brain. Processed data is provided freely for research and for scientific publication thereby maximizing and sharing the benefits.

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