The challenge of diagnosing ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common developmental disorder in school-age children. Often undetected or misunderstood, it can have a huge impact on children, their families and the wider community. Questions of whether ADHD remits in adulthood, whether it is caused by genes or environment, and how it should be treated, remain the subjects of widespread discussion and some controversy.

Until now, ADHD has been measured by the presentation of behavioural patterns and characteristics, using questionnaires and often highly subjective information provided by close observers of the child’s behaviour. When a diagnosis is made, the use of pharmaceutical interventions is often resisted by patients, parents and caregivers, who may have concerns about the reaction to such drugs. Negative physiological aspects and the stigma of taking medication to manage behaviour can sometimes lead to poor compliance.

Our solution - Katla

KATLA helps the clinician – and to a certain extent the parent/caregiver – to understand features of ADHD evident in an EEG recording. In doing so, it is an objective marker that enhances the accuracy of ADHD diagnosis in young people (10-16 yrs), thereby providing added reassurance for families.

An easy-to-use electrophysiological marker such as Katla is a welcome advance in terms of supporting the diagnosis of ADHD and possibly other mental and developmental disorders. Increased accuracy and quality of the diagnosis increases the likelihood of a correct diagnosis and thereby correct treatment for the patient.

Ólafur Guðmundsson

Head of Child- and Adolescent Psychiatry, University Hospital of Iceland

The Katla ADHD Index

The ADHD Index indicates whether or not an individual´s EEG resembles that of individuals diagnosed with ADHD (according to DSM-IV).

Katla ADHD-Index
Katla ADHD-Index

The yellow area represents subjects from the Katla database diagnosed with ADHD, while the blue area represents control subjects with no diagnosis of ADHD. On the individual Katla analysis report, the child's Katla ADHD index is plotted against the child's age.

A result in the blue region indicates that the subject's EEG is within the normal range of the ADHD rating scale and it is unlikely that the subject has ADHD. Results in the yellow region indicate EEG's consistent with ADHD. For the cohort used to validate the ADHD index, specificity was 77% and sensitivity 73%.

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Business Development and Clinical Information

Magnús Jóhannsson

Magnús Jóhannsson

Clinical Director

Edvard Christian Dahl

Edvard Christian Dahl

Business Development Director - Europe