Akili Interactive Labs, a Boston-based company and Brain Plasticity, a San Francisco-based company are both in the process of developing video games to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Both companies plan to file for FDA approval. The agency has already approved several diagnostic applications, but never an app for the treatment of a disease.
“Project Evolution,” Alkili Interactive Labs’ game, would be available on mobile devices and has been designed to improve players’ ability to concentrate. The company is currently conducting a neural-imaging study. Brain plasticity is also conducting studies, which investigate computer-based exercises in the treatment of ADHD and schizophrenia. There is a body of research supporting that action games improve certain prefrontal cortex functions, but whether this will translate to improvements in the symptoms of disorders such as ADHD remains to be seen.