A new diagnostic tool was approved by the FDA yesterday. This is a 15-20 minute non-invasive brain scan that can detect differences in brain activity that indicate a diagnosis of ADHD in children aged 6 to 17.
The Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid (NEBA) System measures the frequency that neurons fire off, creating theta and beta waves. Children with ADHD have been shown to have an elevated theta to beta wave ratio compared to children without the disorder.
This test is a great way to confirm a diagnosis or to spur a dialogue to have the child further tested by a mental health professional. The test should never be used as a stand alone for ADHD diagnosis, but should always be paired with a biopsychosocial assessment by a credentialed professional. This way a full evaluation can be made as to the cause of the behavioral issues.
This is just another step toward our finally moving mental health diagnosis and treatment into the medical model and away from diagnosing using symptoms only as a guide.