FDA approves video game for treating ADHD in kids

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FILE – In this Aug. 2, 2018, file photo, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) building is visible behind FDA logos at a bus stop on the agency’s campus in Silver Spring, Md. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has for the first time approved a video game for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children. The FDA said Monday, June 15, 2020, the game built by Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs can improve attention function. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

BOSTON (AP) — The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has for the first time approved a video game for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

The FDA said Monday the game built by Boston-based Akili Interactive Labs can improve attention function.

The game, called EndeavorRx, requires a prescription and is designed for children ages 8 to 12 with certain symptoms of ADHD.

It’s the first time the FDA has cleared a digital therapy for improving ADHD symptoms, and the first time the agency has ever authorized marketing of a game-based therapy for any condition.

The FDA says it looked at data from multiple studies in more than 600 children. A video of the game shows a character traveling a racecourse-like path in a hover board. Sensory and motor tasks are designed to help the player improve cognitive functioning.

“We’re proud to make history today with FDA’s decision,” Akili CEO Eddie Martucci said in a statement. “We’re using technology to help treat a condition in an entirely new way as we directly target neurological function through medicine that feels like entertainment.”

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