For patients and their families who must deal with the very challenging issues inherent to attention deficient and hyperactivity disorders (ADHD), there comes some welcome news in the way of innovative therapeutic options.
Developed by Akili, The EndeavorRx™ app is a digital treatment designed to improve attention function as measured by computer-based testing in children ages 8-12 years old with diagnosed inattentive or combined-type ADHD. This summer, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted clearance for EndeavorRx (AKL-T01) as a prescribed non-pharmaceutical treatment, designed to “directly target and activate neural systems through the presentation of sensory stimuli and motor challenges to improve cognitive functioning” as stated on the company’s website.
EndeavorRx uses an engaging video game experience that in extensive studies, findings of which were published in The Lancet Digital Health Journal, was shown to improve objective improved objective measures of attention in just a few weeks’ time.1, 2
Our family nurse practitioner, Hayley Miller MSN, APRN, FNP-C, took an in-depth look at this exciting opportunity for use in our clinic with patients who are diagnosed with PANS and PANDAS. What’s more, it’s a non-drug approach that would ideally complement a total care plan and not conflict with any prescribed medications.
Hayley reports that “As someone who has personally battled with autoimmune encephalitis (AE) for much of my life, I am incredibly excited to be able to use my own experiences to help our pediatric patients on their personal healing journey. I decided to test out EndeavorRx for myself and could not wait to share this fun experience with you!”
“EndeavorRx is the perfect combination of effectiveness and fun, with patented technology that targets key neural systems in the brain and a gaming experience created by industry leading game designers,” she noted. “While your child enjoys playing this age-appropriate yet challenging game, EndeavorRx works to improve attentional control by strengthening focus, interference- processing and multitasking. With consistent use, it could help your child find it easier to avoid interruptions, distractions, and irrelevant information and afford them the clarity and focus they need to achieve daily goals.”
As Hayley explained, “Once a prescription has been submitted, an EndeavorRx representative will contact parents or a designated caregiver for setup. The process is easy to facilitate and can be handled by phone without ever leaving home. Instructions are clear and concise and the game itself is very kid-friendly with easy-to-follow prompts. I think it will be just as simple to get children on board with this treatment option – especially with no pills to swallow!”
EndeavorRx is the centerpiece of the Endeavor Care Program, which also includes the EndeavorRx treatment and Akili Care,TM featuring a mobile app to help monitor and document children’s symptoms and provide personal support services for caregivers. The company’s mission to “challenge the status quo of medicine to help people living with cognitive impairment” is directly reflected in their development efforts and it is hoped that this therapeutic program will be of benefit in other neurological conditions.
Interested patients can consult their physician for prescribing and other information. And you may also visit the EndeavorRx website to learn more about the science – and the fun! - of this innovative product and whether it may be appropriate to include in your child’s individual program of care.
Many thanks to our nurse practitioner, Hayley Miller, who always demonstrates the highest level of commitment to our patients by seeking out new ways to offer more hope and healing for all. We are so fortunate to have her as an integral member of our outstanding team of professionals!
Dr. Suzanne Gazda
2 Scott H Kollins, Denton J DeLoss, Elena Cañadas, Jacqueline Lutz, Robert L Findling, Richard S E Keefe, Jeffery N Epstein, Andrew J Cutler, Stephen V Faraone. A novel digital intervention for actively reducing severity of paediatric ADHD (STARS-ADHD): a randomised controlled trial. The Lancet Digital Health, Volume 2, Issue 4, 2020, Pages e168-e178, ISSN 2589-7500,