Health Beat: Video game helping with ADHD

SAN FRANCISCO – Quietly doing homework is relatively routine for most 13 year olds, but Nate Katz has trouble concentrating. He has ADHD, and keeping him on task is a task in itself.

“I could not even read for five minutes sometimes, maybe not even two all the time,” Nate elaborated.

Conventional therapies were hit and miss with Nate, so he volunteered for a breakthrough study at UC San Francisco. For a month, Nate played a video game for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.

“He was calmer, a little less wound up when he was sticking to the protocol and able to attend to tasks for a longer period of time,” said Nate’s mother, Beth Katz.

The game is still being tested. Doctors call it a brain workout, targeting the part of the brain that helps kids focus.

“Nobody has used an iPad-based or a screen-based video game like training for kids with sensory processing and attention deficits,” said Dr. Elysa Marco, a cognitive/behavioral child neurologist at UC San Francisco.

The results? More than one-third of the patients with sensory processing disorder no longer have attention challenges.

“The idea is that…

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