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Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
SJR: 0.121 SNIP: 0.228 CiteScore™: 0.5

ISSN Druckformat: 0896-2960
ISSN Online: 2162-6553

Critical Reviews™ in Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevPhysRehabilMed.2019032661
pages 233-251

Recent Advances in Treating Patients with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder: A Review of Nonpharmacological Interventions

Abhishek Achunair
Department of Interdisciplinary Sciences and Medicine, McMaster University, 1280 Main Street West, Hamilton, Ontario, L8S4K1, Canada
Hussain Mansour Tairan
Department of Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L8; Department of Neurology, Muhayil General Hospital, Ministry of Health, Muhayil Asir, 63751-4748, Saudi Arabia


Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been diagnosed in approximately 6.4 million children in the United States. ADHD is attributed to differential brain development, which initiates varying levels of brain activity, affecting attention, the ability to sit still, and an increase in impulsive behaviors. Although numerous pharmacological treatments are available for this disorder, an increase in dependency of medications poses a lifelong threat for those diagnosed with ADHD at a young age. Here, we document nonpharmacological treatments that have demonstrated generally positive outcomes. Recent studies have focused on rehabilitation using exercise, brain-computer interface (BCI) in combination with neurofeedback therapy (NFT), and video game training (VGT). These viable methods are being explored for use in treatment without the use of pharmacological agents. This review focuses on papers published between 2018 and 2019. Our findings show that specific exercise regimens such as swimming, taekwondo, and table tennis yield promising results in alleviating ADHD symptoms in children and further enhancing skills needed for continuous attention. Other interventions, such as NFT with use of VGT, have also yielded clinically useful results. However, more studies using these therapies in the clinical setting are needed.


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