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Published August 18, 2014 07:57 AM

New way to diagnose ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most commonly diagnosed - and misdiagnosed - behavioral disorder in children in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Unfortunately, there are currently no reliable physiological markers to diagnose ADHD. Doctors generally diagnose the disorder by recording a medical and social history of the patient and the family, discussing possible symptoms and observing the patient’s behavior. But an incorrect evaluation can lead to overmedication, which has parents everywhere concerned.

A new study from Tel Aviv University researchers may provide the objective tool medical professionals need to accurately diagnose ADHD. According to the research, published in "Vision Research", involuntary eye movements accurately reflect the presence of ADHD, as well as the benefits of medical stimulants that are used to treat the disorder.

Doctors from Tel Aviv University, Sheba Medical Center and Haifa University used an eye-tracking system to monitor the involuntary eye movements of two groups of 22 adults taking an ADHD diagnostic computer test called the Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA). The exercise, which lasted 22 minutes, was repeated twice by each participant. The first group of participants, diagnosed with ADHD, initially took the test un-medicated and then took it again under the influence of Ritalin (methylphenidate). A second group, not diagnosed with ADHD, constituted the control group.

Woman pointing at her eye image via Shutterstock.

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