Cinema Being Used to Study ADHD in Children
July 15, 2016

Yale University has conducted new research on ADHD in children. PsychCentral recently wrote an article covering the study. The researchers in this study decided to use movies as a way of understanding ADHD in children more deeply. The associate research scientist at the Yale Child Study Center, Tamara Vanderwal, M.D., says that movies allow children with ADHD to stay still while getting a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) test.  

Studying ADHD in children

Most children with ADHD have an inability to stay still. Due to this, researchers have only been able to conduct a few fMRI studies including kids with ADHD, ages 4 to 6 years old, that are awake. During an fMRI, an individual has to stay still and many loud banging noises happen throughout it–one can imagine this would make it difficult for a child to stay still.

So, researchers at Yale decided in order to have more in-depth studies of ADHD in children, they would have to come up with a different method to do it. To create an outlet for kids with ADHD to sit still during fMRIs, researchers attempted to create specially designed cinema. Vanderwal got together with a group of professional artists and created many movies designed specifically to study ADHD in children. This included very simple shapes telling a highly social story.

They found that with the movies, they had an 80 percent compliance in testing compared to 50 percent that was being achieved the old way. To confirm its use, she’s doing more research on the brain differences between kids with ADHD and those without it.

This way of studying ADHD in children is already being used in around 12 other research projects because of its massive success with keeping children still during an fMRI. The movies make it easier for researchers to understand what’s going on in a child with ADHD’s brain and how to help them cope with it in a more effective way.

Getting treatment  

If your daughter is struggling with ADHD or other issues, it’s important to reach out to a professional for guidance on what steps to take next in order to insure a healthy, successful future for her.
For more information about helping ADHD in children, check out Asheville Academy for Girls.

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