Ask the Experts

Can Brain Training Improve ADHD Symptoms?

“Some studies suggest that brain training improves focus and working memory in general. Others suggest that it improves symptoms only while you’re playing the game or doing the training. Can you clarify this?”

This is a controversial topic.

There is good evidence showing that the Cogmed program, specifically, improves working memory and increases attention in children with ADHD. We do not know, however, how long these gains last, as studies have followed these children for only three or four months after treatment.

There is not enough evidence to show that other computer games or programs help ADHD symptoms like working memory or attention. I predict there will be an explosion of new techniques and research in this area over the next several years.

Although some put neurofeedback in the brain-training category, I don’t. It is more complex therapy than playing a computer game or other brain-training programs. Evidence indicates that neurofeedback can be effective in managing ADHD symptoms.