EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Imagine a wearable device to help children deal with ADHD.
That’s what researchers at Michigan State University are looking into. They are conducting a clinical trial right now.
“We want to try and give parents all of the tools possible to really help kind of address the symptoms, or help their child to be more successful in the classroom,” said Matt Pontifex with MSU’s Department of Kinesiology.
A clinical trial at MSU is testing a noninvasive device that attaches like a wristwatch and uses vibrations to help reduce symptoms of ADHD.
“The idea is that if it can promote better balance and better autonomic tone we can better focus attention,” said Pontifex.
They are recruiting kids between eight and 17 to test the device for eight weeks.
It would not require them to stop other treatments like medication or behavioral therapy.
“These types of devices have been marketed by a number of companies to try and promote better attention, concentration, and better sleep which are all things we know kids with ADHD particularly struggle with,” said Pontifext.
While there are devices on the market, health officials still have a healthy amount of skepticism when it comes to their effectiveness.
“I think it will be great if it works, the answer is we just don’t know when, the FDA releases these kinds of devices or at least approves them it usually approves them with what’s called a class one approval, which is for safety, it doesn’t say anything about how efficacious. How effective they are,” said Dr. Jed Magen, Chair of the MSU Department of Psychiatry.
But researchers at MSU are hoping to provide the answers to families trying to take alternate routes.
“These types of devices are typically a couple hundred of dollars, but that is a lot of money for parents to be able to spend on something that may or may not work, or they may not yet be sure of. This is a great opportunity for parents to try one of these devices out,” said Pontifex.