Alternative Treatment for ADHD: Can brain games help?

People with ADHD often seek out alternative treatments to medication. Or, at least something that might complement it, like combining medication and behavioural treatment.

brain games as treatment for ADHDOne suggested treatment that we hear a lot about is “brain games.” But are things like Lumosity worth the price tag? Can brain games actually help manage ADHD symptoms?

We've talked about something similar before with the debate of working memory training (e.g. "cogmed"). At the risk of repeating ourselves, the answer to the above questions is: "we don't know."

We still don't know for sure if improvements seen in programs like Lumosity actually translate outside the program.

For example, we came across a research article called Brain Games as a Potential Nonpharmaceutical Alternative for the treatment of ADHD. The study looked at a a group of participants diagnosed with ADHD, ranging from grade five to grade 11. They played brain games for five weeks at least 20 minutes each morning before school, and the results were positive. But, if you look closer, there were some limitations. For example: “[the study did not give] enough time for the improvement to carry over to the classroom.” So, they seem to be implying that there would have been improvements over time, but they don’t know for sure. Other limitations: the sample size was only 10 participants. There was no control group. The parent reports may have been skewed because they felt obligated to report a positive result.

Now, we're not dismissing brain games or the validity of the above study. Our point is, there is so much more that we need to know before we can consider anything like brain games a viable, evidence-based treatment.

What are your thoughts about brain games as a potential treatment for ADHD?


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