Skip to main content
Continuing Medical Education

Continuing Medical Education

NEWS | December 28, 2016

UC Davis MIND Institute part of national study on video game-like therapy for ADHD

(SACRAMENTO, Calif.)

The UC Davis MIND Institute is participating in a nationwide ADHD study using a scientifically designed video game-like technology.

Julie Schweitzer Julie Schweitzer

The STARS (Software Treatment for Actively Reducing Severity of ADHD) National ADHD Study is assessing a scientifically designed video game-like technology to improve ADHD symptoms in children ages 8-12.

The study, coordinated by Duke University, aims to determine whether a digital therapy application is effective in managing symptoms associated with ADHD including difficulties with focus and impulsivity.

Children participating in the program will be given one of two game-like applications at random on an iPad Mini device. They are expected to play the game for five days each week over a 28-day period. Study subjects are not allowed to take ADHD related medication during the study period to enable a full assessment of the potential effectiveness of the technology. Study participants are required to visit the center two to three times and will be compensated upon completion of their study participation.

child using iPad

“Parents are interested in non-pharmaceutical treatments for ADHD, especially, in California,” said Julie Schweitzer, director of the Attention, Impulsivity, Regulation (AIR) and ADHD programs at the UC Davis MIND Institute and a co-principal investigator on the study. “This study will try to find out if there are other tools and interventions that can help these children pay attention better.”

The STARS study is a controlled clinical trial, and is being run with the same kind of scientific rigor as medication trials. This study will evaluate the effects of a digital medicine intervention in children with ADHD.

Physicians and parents can inquire about the study by contacting Beatrice Menor at the UC Davis MIND Institute by phone 916-703-0294 or e-mail memenor@ucdavis.edu.

The UC Davis MIND Institute (Medical Investigation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders) is a collaborative international research center, committed to the awareness, understanding, prevention, care, and cures of neurodevelopmental disorders. The clinic provides comprehensive evidence-based assessments of children with possible neurodevelopmental disorders. The clinic providers give treatment recommendations to referring schools, agencies, physicians, and mental health clinicians.