NEBA – A New Biomarker to Assess for ADHD

Is your child struggling with attention problems and wondering if it might be Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)? Traditionally, most ADHD assessment relies on rating scales, clinical interview, and tests of attention (computer tests or neuropsychological testing). Sometimes the diagnosis of ADHD is clear, and other times it is not. To address this question, research has lead to the development of a new tool to assess for ADHD – NEBA.

WHAT IS NEBA?

NEBA is the first of a new kind of medical device cleared by the FDA that uses brainwaves (EEG) to help clinicians more accurately diagnose ADHD in children and adolescents (ages 6 – 17.99 years). FDA created an entirely new category of medical device to regulate NEBA. These devices are called Neuropsychiatric Interpretive EEG-based Assessment Aids or NIEAs for short.

It uses brainwaves (EEG) along with a clinician’s initial diagnostic impression to improve the accuracy of the ADHD diagnostic process. NEBA measures the electrical activity in the front part of the brain to derive a biomarker. It then combines this information with the clinician’s diagnostic impression. Using this data and a patented method, it categorizes children with ADHD symptoms into three groups:

• ADHD – confirmatory support
• Support for further testing – focus on ADHD
• Support for further testing – focus on ‘other conditions’

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

It is an accurate, quick, and insightful way to help clinicians and parents make better decisions about ADHD.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

It depends. The total out-of-pocket for NEBA will never be more than $425 and your out-of-pocket cost will likely be significantly less.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?

It takes about 15 – 20 minutes to administer. That includes setup and clean up times, and data collection. We usually process the reports within about an hour.

HOW DOES IT PRACTICALLY WORK?

Prior to test day, your clinician will instruct you and your child what to do. For example your child will be instructed to come to test day with clean hair with no braids. It works by collecting brainwave data and processing it into a report. To collect the data, the NEBA equipment uses special disposable stick-on electrodes. A special electrode is used on the top of the head – it doesn’t have adhesive on it and it’s held in place by an elastic band. The electrodes are non-invasive, that is they rest on the skin’s surface. The technician gently removes the electrodes after use.

CAN IT BE USED WITH ADULTS?

Yes, it can be used to assess for adult ADHD. However, it is only FDA approved for ages 6-18.

HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION ABOUT USING NEBA AT COGNITIVE PSYCHIATRY OF CHAPEL HILL?

Call us at 919-636-5240 or email us at office@cognitive-psychiatry.com.

Author
Dr. Jennie Byrne, M.D., PhD.

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