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BCI Study

A Randomised Controlled Trial of a Brain-Computer Interface Based Intervention for the Treatment of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)  

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common psychiatric condition amongst children and adolescents seen at the Child Guidance Clinic (CGC) in Singapore. Community studies have found the prevalence of ADHD to be between 1.7% and 16%. Management of ADHD includes pharmacological and behavioural management. However, parents are often concerned about its side effects, including poor appetite, physical growth retardation and cardiovascular effects. Behavioural management, although important, has been shown to be less effective than pharmacological management.

Brain-computer interface (BCI) is a direct communication pathway between a human brain and an external device. IMH, in collaboration with A*Star and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, has developed a series of BCI-based training activities incorporating our patented attention detection technology, BrainpalTM, into interactive games for the treatment of ADHD. Through the BrainpalTM training sessions, this research study hopes to use an alternative, non-invasive and sustainable treatment modality for inattentive symptoms associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD). This may improve the child’s ability to concentrate on tasks.
This treatment modality, if efficacious for treating ADHD, is likely to be more acceptable to parents than medication or behavioural treatment. Children themselves are, also, more likely to enjoy this treatment and, hence, comply better. Funding for the study is supported by A*Star over a 2-year period. The project, led by Dr Lim Choon Guan, will be carried out in 2 phases. Participants will be recruited from both clinical and school settings. In Phase 1, 20 subjects with ADHD will be recruited to test the trial-related procedures. In Phase 2, 160 subjects with ADHD will be recruited and randomised to either intervention or control groups.

Principal Investigator:

  • Dr Lim Choon Guan, Institute of Mental Health

 Co-Principal Investigators:

  • A/Prof Daniel Fung, Institute of Mental Health
  • Prof Cheung Yin Bun, Singapore Clinical Research Institute 
  • Dr Zhao Yudong, Singapore Clinical Research Institute
  • Prof Krishnan, Ranga R., Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
  • A/Prof Lee Tih-Shih, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School
  • Dr Guan Cuntai, A*STAR Institute for Infocomm Research

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