New research sets out to help children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

September 02, 2002

Researchers from Imperial College London have today been granted an award of £221,700 to study ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) by Cerebra, the foundation for the brain-injured infant.

ADHD is a behavioural condition affecting up to fifteen percent of children in the UK. Symptoms include poor attention span, weak impulse control and hyperactivity

Lead researcher, Professor John Gruzelier from Imperial College London at the Charing Cross hospital says: "Research from America has shown that although manageable in up to sixty percent of children, ADHD is not curable, and up to seventy percent of children fail to outgrow it. Medication is available, but is only effective in less than half of all cases. This, combined with significant side effects, such as loss of appetite, headaches, sleeping problems, mood problems and growth reduction, means there is an urgent need for a more effective treatment."

The study will examine whether a therapy known as EEG biofeedback, or neurofeedback, can help to treat children suffering from ADHD. Neurofeedback is a process that will allow children to view their brain activity on a computer. Changes in cortical activity are fed back to the child in the form of visual and auditory images.

Research has shown that children with ADHD exhibit excess slow wave (4-8Hz) activity and reduced fast wave (12-20Hz) activity. The aim will be to correct this imbalance by training children to decrease slow wave activity and where appropriate increase the fast wave activity.

Professor Gruzelier adds: "As a treatment for ADHD, Neurofeedback has the potential to provide long term benefits in cognition and behaviour. Importantly it is non-invasive, has no known side effects and if proven successful may reduce dependency on Ritalin."

David Williams, Head of Research at Cerebra adds: "We are extremely pleased to be able to fund this project. Imperial are acknowledged leaders in this field, and this research will benefit the large numbers of children suffering from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder."
-end-
For more information, please contact:

Tony Stephenson
Imperial College Press Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6712
Mobile: +44 07753 739766
E-mail: at.stephenson@ic.ac.uk

Notes to editors: 1. 1. Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (10,000) and staff (5,000) of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture. Website: www.ic.ac.uk.
2. Cerebra is a national charity with an administrative headquarters in Carmarthen West Wales, telephone 01267-244200 www.cerebra.org.uk and a fund raising call centre based in Bristol.
3. Cerebra is concerned with brain injury in children. The charity raises money to fund ground breaking research into brain injury and neurological disorders, cerebral palsy, attention deficit disorder, behavioural and emotional problems or developmental delay in infants.
4. Cerebra also acts as a catalyst to provide interaction between professional research and the insight of parents and carers. Cerebra have a specialist information base built up over ten years and ensure that information flows productively between researchers and parents, with all feedback disseminated effectively to produce real outcomes on the ground for affected families and their children.

Imperial College London

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