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Photo via Akili/Project: EVO
Photo via Akili/Project: EVO

A new study is showing positive results for a video game alternative to treating children with ADHD.

As Tech Times reports, the video game called Project: EVO from Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs is showing improvement among kids with ADHD who play the video game for 30 minutes per day instead of taking medication.

“These data demonstrate that Project: EVO improved attentional functioning and working memory in children with ADHD,” Scott Kollins, PhD, lead author and principal investigator for the study, and Professor of Psychiatry and Director of the ADHD Program, Duke University School of Medicine, said in a statement. “While results are preliminary, these data provide a strong rationale for continued work to develop this novel, digital intervention for ADHD.”

In the pilot study on ADHD, Akili tested 80 kids between the ages of 8 and 12, half who had been diagnosed with ADHD. They report that they showed “improved working memory and levels of attention.” They presented the findings at the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s 62nd annual meeting.

Akili is also studying how gaming and other interactive tasks via devices can be used to alleviate symptoms and treat other diseases in what they call “electronic medicine.”

In the future, conditions including autism, depression and Alzheimer’s may very well be treated with this electronic medicine vs. actual medication. It makes sense — exercise the brain, create new neural pathways, and you create a healthier, happier person.

Akili said with these initial findings that it will now go into a full trial. The company is working with Shire Pharmaceuticals on the project.

Gaming used as medicine is a growing field, with several companies researching how the electronic arts can be used for healing. You can learn more about the players in the field via this Fast Co. article, which includes Akili.

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