Bregman Medical Group | Services


VIDEO GAMES FOR ADULT ADHD? TAKE YOUR TREATMENT TO NEXT LEVEL It's finally happened, something that no one would have thought:  Mental Health professionals have begun prescribing video games to children with ADHD. ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder) is known to cause endless distractions in the lives of sufferers. Wouldn’t games be even more distracting? This is often the case. But not always. One company has designed a video game called EndeavorRX for ADHD patients aged 8-12. The game includes activities that improve attention span, concentration, visual cognition, and other important mental skills. It is prescription only, and approved by the Food and Drug Administration. But what if it's not just for kids?  Brain-boosting apps like Luminosity and Elevate are already on the rise, offering short puzzles and games for adults to sharpen their mental edge. A dedicated game for adult ADHD sufferers seems likely in the future. Actually, in 2013 an adult ADHD study on video games built the foundation for EndeavorRX. Aging ADHD sufferers showed cognitive improvement after playing a game called Neuroscape. But how can video games help with ADHD? Studies for EndeavorRX show it improves executive functions like planning, organizing, and attention. For kids, this leads to better academic performance. In adults, it may lead to better job productivity and personal relationships. Video games for mental illness might still make some folks skeptical. How can these concerns be addressed? Aren’t video games addicting? While it's true that some video games are addicting, the dopamine rush that accompanies a beloved video game can be used positively: in this case a patient may be more willing to participate in treatment in the form of a desired fun experience, i.e. playing a game. But what if patients play too much?  The key here is dosage.  Since the game would be prescribed patients should only indulge as much as required for treatment. Like with medications, too much or too little can lead to adverse effects. Aren’t video games bad for physical health? Actually they may improve our immune system (when played in moderation)!  In addition to the above point about not playing TOO much, there’s another upside. The dopamine we enjoy when indulging in a beloved activity may actually be good for us. Dopamine decreases the production of cortisol, a chemical inside the brain that weakens the immune system and causes anxiety. It’s important to remember: playing any old video game until the wee hours of the morning is obviously detrimental to our mental and physical health. But thanks to neuroscience, some games may improve our ability to concentrate, stay on task, and get the most out of life. Bregman MD Medical Group has 40+ years of experience treating ADHD and other mental disorders. If you feel like you need help, please reach out. Appointments can be scheduled at or 305-740-3340.   References:

By BregmanMD | July 03, 2020 | Mental Health

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