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Using Movies to Understand ADHD in Children

15697602162_5cdc552ee9_zImage source: Flickr user- bpatrickphotography

PsychCentral recently wrote an article covering new research by Yale University. 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.

 

What this means for studying ADHD in children

According to the researchers, only a few fMRI studies including kids, ages 4 to 6 years old, that are awake have been conducted because of their inability to stay still. 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 had to come up with a different way to do it. 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 with 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  

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