FDA approves brain scan for ADHD diagnosis

The agency announced yesterday it cleared the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) system to help confirm ADHD in people aged six to 17. 

Doctors can use the device to confirm an ADHD diagnosis or to determine if more testing is necessary.

The device, from Georgia-based NEBA Health, measures the frequency of the theta and beta brain waves.

Children with ADHD tend to have a higher ratio of these waves than children who don't have the disorder.

The FDA approved the 15- to 20-minute test based on a study of 275 patients who had attention or behavioural issues.

Clinicians evaluated the patients using the NEBA Health System as well as standard diagnostic tools like behavioural questionnaires, IQ tests and physical exams.

An independent group of researchers then reviewed the data and reached a consensus on whether each patient had ADHD or not. The study results showed that use of the NEBA System helped