The diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in people of any age has been extremely subjective until now. A collaborative effort between scientists at Tel Aviv University, the Goldschleger Eye Research Institute at Sheba Medical Center, and the University of Haifa has produced the first foolproof diagnostic tool for ADHD and has verified the efficacy of one of the most common drugs used in treatment of ADHD. The research was announced at the Tel Aviv University website on Aug. 13, 2014.
People who really have ADHD are incapable of suppressing involuntary eye movements in anticipation of visual stimuli. People who do not have ADHD can suppress eye involuntary movements in anticipation of visual stimuli. The differences can be measured as a part of a test that is a part of the present repertoire for determining if a person has ADHD.
The researchers compared the visual response of 22 people who had ADHD before and after taking methylphenidate (Ritalin). Methylphenidate is considered to be one of the more effective ADHD drugs presently in use. A group of 22 people that did not have ADHD served as a control group.
The reaction of the group of people with ADHD to visual stimuli and the involuntary eye movements involved in those reactions were measured before and after the group took a normal dose of methylphenidate. The people with ADHD demonstrated a similar response to visual stimuli like the people that did not have ADHD after taking methylphenidate. The test is so subtle and the eye movements are so involuntary that a test subject cannot fake a response that shows they have ADHD when they do not have ADHD.
The results have several positive ramifications. This is the first test for ADHD that is not subjective in any way. People who have played the system by faking ADHD to receive Medicaid or Medicare benefits can now be eliminated from the burden of fraud imposed on the taxpayer. The study proves that methylphenidate works as a treatment for ADHD.