View Full Version : 'Seeking an Objective Test for Attention Disorder'


Retromancer
06-01-10, 02:16 AM
Dr. Teicher’s invention, the Quotient A.D.H.D. System, is only one of several continuing efforts to find a biomarker — i.e., distinctive biological evidence — for this elusive disorder.

Most mainstream researchers consider A.D.H.D. to be an authentic neurological deficit that, left untreated, can ruin not only school report cards, but lives. Nonetheless the quest for objective evidence has gained new urgency in recent years.

Seeking an Objective Test for Attention Disorder | New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/health/01attention.html)

Amtram
06-01-10, 08:32 AM
This was pretty interesting. Whenever I see something reported in the media, though, my skepticism kicks in. Journalists aren't always the best source of science news, in my experience. If it's genuine and accurate, though, that would be a good thing.

ginniebean
06-01-10, 10:01 AM
I don't have any reason to doubt that this hasn't been reported accurately. In fact the attention test is fairly old and routine. The big difference is postural and subtle body movements that it measures which frankly sounds great.

What doesn't sound great to me is...



Last fall the National Institutes of Health (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/n/national_institutes_of_health/index.html?inline=nyt-org) awarded Dr. Teicher a $1 million grant from the federal stimulus package to delve further into the quest for a definitive test or biomarker for the disorder. He plans to focus his research on three detective strategies: his Quotient system, magnetic resonance imaging (http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/test/mri/overview.html?inline=nyt-classifier) to compare blood flows in different brain regions, and the ActiGraph, an activity monitor widely used by medical researchers.

resonance imaging involves the injecting of a dye that can in instances be lethal not sure if it has any other negatives to it but given that generally speaking this is being done not just to provide an objective test but rather to assuage the anxiety that has been in the main produced by those with an agenda. (scientologists)

Added to this is the skepticism of the condition amongst professionals and you could end up having one of these every time you need to see a new psychiatrist or physician. A diagnosis by one professional doesn't mean it will be accepted by the new professional. It just seems that the risk is not really gaining the patient anything but is more of a PR move.

I'm all for this other test but these ones that have more invasive means.. it bothers me.

TygerSan
06-01-10, 12:23 PM
Very interesting. Teicher's a fairly well-known researcher in the field. The only thing is, this is still essentially a continuous performance task, so I'm really curious to see the published data. A lot of the problem with these tasks is that they aren't sensitive enough to discriminate between ADHD and other disorders (like bipolar, schizophrenia, brain damage) that have attention deficits associated with them. The other problem is that a lot of these tests also produce false negatives: meaning, they will tell you that you don't have ADHD, when you really do (level of impairment on a computer task doesn't always correlate with level of impairment in the real world).

Dizfriz
06-01-10, 01:45 PM
Whatever the merits of the overall article, it did give a reasonably good recap of the state of current diagnostic methods for ADHD. The NYT usually does a pretty good job on issues of this type.

So many articles in the media are so bad, it is a pleasure to see ones that are reasonably accurate. Rare perhaps but pleasurable.

Dizfriz

APSJ
06-03-10, 07:28 PM
Interesting article from the New York Times on efforts to develop an objective test for ADHD:
Dr. Martin H. Teicher, the Harvard psychiatrist who invented the test, has an explanation for my predicament.

“You have some objective evidence for an impairment in attention,” he said — in other words, a “very subtle” case of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. (Indeed, I had already received a diagnosis three years earlier.) Not only did I click too many times when I shouldn’t have, and occasionally vice versa, but subtle shifts in my head movements, tracked by the device’s motion detector, suggested that I tended to shift attention states, from on-task to impulsive to distracted and back.

Dr. Teicher’s invention, the Quotient A.D.H.D. System, is only one of several continuing efforts to find a biomarker — i.e., distinctive biological evidence — for this elusive disorder.

Most mainstream researchers consider A.D.H.D. to be an authentic neurological deficit that, left untreated, can ruin not only school report cards, but lives. Nonetheless the quest for objective evidence has gained new urgency in recent years.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/01/health/01attention.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&pagewanted=all

The system described strikes me as sharing some of the problems with the existing computerized attention tests, namely, that it's a novel experience...I remember one of my neuropsychological evaluations noting that I performed dramatically better on a computerized test of attention than on a largely identical paper and pencil test of it.

What do people think about these approaches?

doiadhd
06-03-10, 07:48 PM
The test in the link you sent seemed a bit easy...i think on a half decent day i would be able to do it with ease.

Actually i have a brain trainer on the ps3(i recommend it)...when i first started i was terrible sometimes even stopping completely thinking this is an impossible task why did i purchase this one.....but then on another day i am flying with high scores and everything.

It deals with focus,math,shapes and a few more categories(that i can't...)

I am super good at a couple of categories but am terrible at a couple more,math is a biggie.

Do most of us have good days and bad days?

I find if i am under pressure sometimes i rise to the challenge,and sometimes i flop.

I think if i went to do one of these on a really bad day(if i am able get there..) i could attack that bloody telephone box...but then again on a good one would walk it(maybe)

I did not know that they excisted.....guess it is a step in the right direction though...

APSJ
06-03-10, 09:47 PM
Yeah, I sometimes have days when, even with medication, I'm barely functional. Then there are others where I seem really productive and focused. Most fall somewhere in between. I have trouble taking 'objective' test seriously that will give me a different score on each of these types of days.

Dizfriz
06-03-10, 09:51 PM
There was a short thread on this a few days back.

http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=83927&highlight=dizfriz+nyt

Otherwise, I find myself sitting back hoping and waiting but not getting to excited. I have seen so many of these things come and go-mostly go.

Dizfriz