Software company BrainDx (http://braindx.net/) announces a pioneering measurement tool to assist practitioners and researchers in differentiating between ADHD and autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children. The new tool is based on neurometric analysis of electroencephalographs (EEGs) and enables more precise diagnosis of these developmental disorders. The results of BrainDx's research were recently published in the "Austin Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders" (full citation below).
April is Autism Awareness Month, and BrainDx is eager to share its encouraging findings concerning the two most common pediatric neurodevelopmental disorders. The National Resource Center on ADHD reports that nearly 10% of school-aged children receive an ADHD diagnosis, while ASD affects about 1 in 60 children. The prevalence and complexity of these conditions demands better diagnostic criteria and treatment modalities, and BrainDx is working hard toward a solution.
By developing a consistently reliable brain activity biomarker, BrainDx will simplify ASD and ADHD diagnosis. The company's breakthrough is the discovery of functional differences in the brains of neurotypical children vs. those with developmental issues. Researchers used quantitative electroencephalography (QEEG) to identify specific clusters of abnormal brain activity features in children with ASD or ADHD. BrainDx is confident this tool can assist in the diagnosis of ASD (and distinguish it from ADHD) with over 90% precision.
"QEEG is not a standalone method, and in and of itself is not a diagnostic standard," says BrainDx CEO David S. Cantor, Ph.D., "but it is an important new tool that, when combined with standard behavioral measures, can improve the speed and accuracy of ADHD and ASD diagnosis. Our goal is to eventually have reliable biomarkers for these and related neurodevelopmental disorders."
In the QEEG study, ADHD and ASD presented functional abnormalities within the thalamus, hippocampus and caudate nucleus. However, both conditions also presented with distinct areas of abnormality as well. Equally importantly, the study revealed and defined four distinct subtypes of each disorder, based on differences in QEEG profiles. Identification of such heterogeneity within these populations may be an important component in improved diagnosis and treatment.
The BrainDx measurement tool is available to clinicians who want to employ the software to determine the effectiveness of pharmaceutical and/or neurofeedback treatment regimens for ADHD and ASD in children. Looking ahead, the company plans to continue researching new applications for QEEG from EEG procedures as part of developing a comprehensive patient testing battery.