How Can Technology Help Treat ADD?

Help Treat ADD

By Amar Chakra, MD

While many professions consider attention-deficit disorder (ADD), also known as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a straightforward condition to treat, the nuances of this common condition are extremely complex. Prescription stimulants and nutritional supplements are commonly used in the treatment of the disorder, but they are not the only solutions. Outside of medications and nutraceuticals, there are a number of technological tools and interventions that are beneficial for most individuals with ADD/ADHD.

Here are 6 ways technology can help in the diagnosis and treatment of ADD/ADHD.

1. Brain SPECT imaging

Have you ever wondered why some individuals respond incredibly well to stimulant medications or supplements, while others seem to become more anxious, depressed, or irritable? SPECT imaging shows that ADD/ADHD is not one thing, that there are a variety of brain patterns associated with it. The brain imaging work at Amen Clinics has helped identify 7 types of ADD/ADHD, including classic, inattentive, over-focused, temporal lobe, limbic, anxious, and the “ring of fire.” These individual types of ADD/ADHD require their own unique treatments to achieve optimal results. Getting the right diagnosis is the key to getting the most effective treatment plan.

2. Neurofeedback

This non-invasive form of biofeedback has been shown to improve attention in those with ADD/ADHD. With neurofeedback, individuals learn to train their brains to produce healthy brainwave patterns, activating areas that need greater stimulation and calming areas that are overactive.

3. Exercise apps

Aerobic exercise helps boost blood flow and dopamine in the brain, which has been shown to help with impulsivity, a common symptom seen in people with ADD/ADHD. Using any type of fitness app that enhances motivation to exercise or tracks fitness goals can be beneficial.

4. Diet trackers

Individuals with ADD/ADHD tend to function better when adhering to a diet that is higher in protein and healthy fats and lower in carbohydrates. However, the impulsivity that is common in this condition often makes people mindlessly reach for foods that exacerbate symptoms. Using any of a number of diet apps to track daily consumption may help these people be more mindful of what they eat and stick with their healthy eating plan.

5. Meditation apps

Studied extensively for decades, meditation can improve focus and helps balance the brains of those with ADD/ADHD. There are several apps that can help build a meditation practice, including Insight Timer, Headspace, and 10% Happier. Encourage those with ADD/ADHD to try a few different apps to find one they like best.

6. Calendar reminders, alerts, and notes apps

People with ADD/ADHD have a tendency to be late for appointments and typically have trouble with organization. Having sticky notes scattered everywhere or having a messy desk means people will likely have a hard time finding important documents and reminders. To help those with this condition stay on time and get organized, recommend online calendar apps and notes apps. Getting alerts on the phone or notifications on a computer screen about upcoming appointments and meetings can be so helpful on a daily basis. And using a notes app helps disorganized people keep everything in one place for easy retrieval.

About the Author: Amar Chakra, MD, Amen Clinics Atlanta

Dr. Amar Chakra is a board-certified psychiatrist at Amen Clinics with a special interest in childhood and adult ADD/ADHD, as well as child and adolescent sports psychiatry, cross-cultural psychiatry, and early-onset psychosis. To make an appointment with Dr. Chakra or to make a referral, contact us at 888-288-9834 or on our website here.

1 Comment »

  1. Thank you for a great article.

    Comment by Timothy Lee — August 17, 2021 @ 11:44 AM

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