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Pilot study of a mobile application-based intervention to induce changes in neural activity in the frontal region and behaviors in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and/or intellectual disability

 Sungji Ha  ;  Jung Hwa Han  ;  Jaeun Ahn  ;  Kangto Lee  ;  Jaeseok Heo  ;  Yejin Choi  ;  Jin Young Park  ;  Keun-Ah Cheon 
 JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRIC RESEARCH, Vol.146 : 286-296, 2022-02 
Journal Title
Issue Date
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) ; Digital intervention ; Electroencephalogram (EEG) ; Intellectual disability (ID)
Children with neurodevelopmental disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and intellectual disability (ID), need early intervention and continuous treatment. We aimed to investigate the feasibility and acceptability of mobile application-based interventions in children with ADHD and ID in supporting attention and cognitive function. Twenty-six children with ADHD and/or ID with attention and cognition difficulties were recruited. Participants completed a 12-week mobile application-based intervention. To assess whether digital intervention improved attention and cognitive function, we used the Comprehensive Attention Test (CAT), Cambridge Neuropsychological Tests Automated Battery (CANTAB), and electroencephalography (EEG) to examine direct changes in children's behavior and neural activity. Clinicians and parents assessed changes using the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function, Second Edition (BRIEF-2), Korean version of the ADHD Rating Scale (K-ARS), Clinical Global Impression-Improvement Scale, and parental questionnaires. The intervention induced changes in neural activities on EEG and behavior but there were no significant changes in CAT and CANTAB results. Relative theta and alpha power were significantly lower post-intervention in the eyes-open (EO) condition of EEG recording and these changes were mainly observed in the frontal regions of the brain. Parental reports using the BRIEF-2 and K-ARS noted significant improvements in executive function, attention, and hyperactivity-impulsivity. In addition, the clinical impression improved in 60% of participants. These results provide evidence that a mobile application-based intervention has the benefit of supporting children with ADHD and/or ID. Digital intervention could change neural activity and improve children's attention and cognitive function. Given our findings, we suggested that mobile application-based digital therapeutics may have great potential for helping children with neurodevelopmental disorders who need continuous treatment.
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1. College of Medicine (의과대학) > Dept. of Psychiatry (정신과학교실) > 1. Journal Papers
Yonsei Authors
Park, Jin Young(박진영) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5351-9549
Ahn, Jaeun(안재은) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1331-7854
Cheon, Keun Ah(천근아) ORCID logo https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7113-9286
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