Mobile System for ADHD Therapy by Transcranial Electrical Neurostimulation

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also frequently occurs in adulthood. Patients are confronted with psychosocial restrictions that make everyday situations more difficult and require appropriate therapeutic approaches. ADHD treatment in adults usually consists of medications and / or psychotherapeutic approaches. A medicamentous treatment often shows a higher treatment success, but in many cases also has undesirable side effects. A close monitoring of the treatment is therefore indispensable. In addition, the costs of medication should not be underestimated.

The consortium of the BMBF project »ATTENTION« (= Mobile System for ADHD Therapy Using Transcranial Electrical Neurostimulation) is dedicated to the development of an alternative or complementary ADHD treatment approach that is effective and has few side effects for adult patients. The aim is to develop a novel medical technology system for simultaneous transcranial alternating current stimulation (tACS) and derivation of an electroencephalogram (EEG) for adult ADHD patients.  A tACS-based therapy in patients with ADHD promises a reduction in drug intake and the resulting costs. The aim is also to increase the effectiveness of psychotherapy.

The development envisages a mobile system in order to also implement a home application and thus be able to design the therapy plan more flexibly and individually. In summary, the neurobiological approach pursued in the »ATTENTION« project is intended to help in the future to enable effective, cost-effective, sustainable and low-side-effect therapy of ADHD in adulthood.




The demonstrator to be developed in »ATTENTION« will extract the individual parameters from the EEG, which will be used for neurostimulation with tACS. This will modify neurophysiological markers associated with attention functions. An improvement of the attention ability is also shown in shortened reaction times. A web-based dashboard offers the user, depending on the role in the system, the relevant data in the form of selected and easily interpretable diagrams and graphs and serves as an analysis tool for the collected data. The demonstrator will be tested in several studies, initially with healthy volunteers and later with ADHD patients.

Responsibilities of Fraunhofer IDMT

Within the project, the Fraunhofer IDMT's Oldenburg Branch for Hearing, Speech and Audio Technology HSA carries out scientific and technical research and development work within the development of algorithms for EEG analysis and data processing. It cooperates closely with Applied Biosignals GmbH and the University of Oldenburg. Fraunhofer IDMT is also involved in user studies with patients and medical experts.

The project ATTENTION is funded by the German ministry of education and research (BMBF) (13GW0273F).

Mobile Neurotechnologies

The group »Mobile Neurotechnologies« is working on discreet EEG systems for the analysis of brain activity - e.g. for safe workplace design or for use in health applications.