As the gaming industry progresses, so does the variety of its applications.
How far video games have come! From 8 bit games to 32 GB games with expansive worlds and deep story lines. We even have Virtual Reality video games. Many argue that video games are an art form. Very soon, they might even replace medicines for behavioral and neurological disorders. A video game by Akili called AKL-T01 has passed a trial conducted on kids with ADHD.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a behavioral disorder commonly diagnosed in early childhood. The child is unable to focus or is impulsive and hyperactive. This is just a simple explanation, though the disorder is a bit complex. And Akili is trying to employ behavioral therapy with their video game to help kids with ADHD.
The company held a randomized trial of 348 children and adolescents with ADHD. Their video game, AKL-T01 showed statistically significant improvement than the control, which was also a video game. However promising this may sound, Akili is yet to release their data. Akili said it will submit the full details at a future medical meeting.
How it works
The game works by rendering certain sensory stimuli which activate specific neural networks. This impacts areas on the frontal lobe of the brain related to attention, impulse behavior, and cognitive control. But the game is even more advanced than that. It adjusts its difficulty level automatically according to patient’s ability. It also measures 60 variables tied to player’s neurological response.
Big backers from Big Pharma
After the results, Akili is now moving to FDA to get an approval for AKL-T01. This comes a year after the Centre for Disease Control strongly recommended parents and doctors to try behavioral therapy first because drugs for ADHD usually have side effects.
Akili might be able to get the approval, as the company has some big backers. There are four pharam companies that have invested in Akili: Merck, Shire, Amgen, and Pfizer. In total they have raised $42.4 million.
The company looks into releasing the game in 2018.