Video Game Designed To Treat ADHD May Become First FDA Approved Prescription Video Game

December 5, 2017

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A video game being developed by Akili Interactive Labs to help treat ADHD just met its first study goal in a quest to become the first FDA approved prescription video game, despite the fact I've been successfully using video games to treat just about everything wrong with me for forever. A bunch of stuff I didn't read because I got distracted:

In a study of 348 children between the ages of 8 and 12 diagnosed with ADHD, those who played Akili's action-packed game on a tablet over four weeks saw statistically significant improvements on metrics of attention and inhibitory control, compared to children who were given a different action-driven video game designed as a placebo. The company plans next year to file for approval with the Food and Drug Administration.


"We are directly targeting the key neurological pathways that control attention and impulsivity," said Akili CEO Eddie Martucci. The study "was meant to be a strong objective test to ask: Is it the targeting we do in the brain or is it general engagement with a treatment that's exciting and interesting ... that actually leads to these targeted effects? And so I think we clearly see that it's the targeted algorithms that we have."

Interesting. Verrrrrrry interesting. "You didn't read it." I barely have the attention span to wake up in the morning, I can't read paragraphs about stuff I don't understand. Now, if someone could just develop a prescription video game to battle general unattractiveness and obesity, I could game my way to a hot date. "It would take an overdose." I'll take my chances.

Thanks to Thaylor H, who agrees video games can cure anything.

  • Jenness

    I thought video games caused ADHD? Isn't this like coke dealers making a type of cocaine that supposedly makes you less addicted to cocaine except you have to take it every day?

  • JamesHaswell

    Correlation is not causality. Without proper studies (soccer moms yelling on daytime TV with Dr. Oz doesn't cut it). It's hard to tell what causes what. I'd posit that ADHD kids have been self medicating with Video games for ages. But, I also don't see ADHD as a defect either, just different wiring with different strengths and weaknesses. Video games provide direction and a sense of accomplishment. They are also good for self medicating a sense of powerlessness or control. I think education will look a lot more like gaming in the future.

  • Jenness

    I don't actually think ADHD is a thing. I think it's just what my grandparents called "ants in the pants" syndrome and means "That kid needs to get outside more". I remember a kid in my school (I went to a tiny catholic school and there were 14 kids in my whole grade) and the nuns would just get sick of him playing with his pencil, making noises and fidgeting and would say "Time for Jumping jacks!" and then he'd have to get up and do jumping jacks while we counted and most of the time a lot of the other boys and some girls would join in. It was a stress reliever. They knew that you can't just force kids into chairs for hours on end and not give them a break to blow off steam.

  • infi_nitive

    I don't understand the first sentence. Are you asking yourself if you thought video games caused ADHD? Are you asking GW? Are you asking the internet? Who is that question directed to?

  • Jenness

    It's just me looking at my computer like I do the vastness of space saying "I matter" like a tiny little speck of nothingness. But feel free to answer fellow speck.

  • ADHD is a spook.

  • GeneralDisorder

    That's racist. Er... That's uh... ablist? You know what... morals are subjective. Do whatever.

  • Makes sense that a silly made up disorder would have a silly made up "treatment".

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