Objective ADHD Diagnosis – Around the corner?

by Karoli on September 7, 2006 · 2 comments

Boston Life Sciences recently secured a patent for an objective diagnostic test for ADHD by measuring dopamine levels via imaging data.

In addition to methods used to objectively diagnose ADHD in adults or children, the patent covers methods that could enable physicians to determine the most effective ADHD drug treatment and/or dosage level for an individual patient, monitor the long-term progress of treatment for ADHD, and aid in identifying individuals at risk for ADHD.

Here is how they say it works, in a nutshell. A special imaging agent that binds to dopamine transporters is administered, then SPECT and PET scans are done to measure actual dopamine levels.

This is very cool news. If it works and is actually approved, it would be a wonderfully effective way to arrive at a true diagnosis, as well as squash the murmurs that ADHD is merely an invention.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 kathy September 20, 2006 at 2:19 pm

How is this different from the spect imaging done by Dr Amen?

2 drumsnwhistles September 20, 2006 at 3:31 pm

Hi kathy and thanks for visiting –

The difference is that they are binding the imaging agents to dopamine transmitters before performing the scans. That means the scans will either reveal a “disconnect” in the dopamine transmitters of the patient or not, and depending upon the result they will be able to actually point to an ADHD result.

The Amen Clinic imaging is measuring brain activity in different areas of the brain and from that, drawing conclusions about whether or not the brain activity is typical of an ADHD pattern. This imaging technique further refines that and narrows it to dopamine transmission activity.

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