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Eyes may be the key to accurate ADHD diagnosis

While ADHD is not my area of clinical expertise, I do know there seems to be conflicting points of view on ADHD in pediatric care.    Some feel ADHD is under diagnosed and proper identification of the condition could lead to better social and academic outcomes in children.   Others feel it may be over-diagnosed, and thus over-medicated.      But a new study indicates the eyes may play a role in giving clinicians a more objective test for properly diagnosing ADHD.

Researchers in Germany found that Pattern Electroretinogram (PERG), which is like a electrocardiogram of the retina, shows an increased "noise" pattern in patients with ADHD when compared to non-ADHD patients.     This noise in retinal nerve cells may help explain the inattentiveness found in ADHD.

PERG is a relatively easy and completely painless test, although it's not a particularly common test.    Further research is needed across larger populations, but if the correlation holds up in further testing it could establish a more objective method for diagnosing ADHD.    This could help assuage both sides of the ADHD debate by allowing for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Beach.


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