Our understanding of ADHD has transformed over the past few decades. Originally classified a just version of attention deficit disorder (ADD) with hyperactivity, ADHD was first named in 1902 but was not officially recognized as its own condition until 1987.
Since then, there have been constant conversations over how to diagnosis, when to diagnosis, and whether or not we over diagnosis ADHD. These debates have allowed us a greater degree of understanding when it comes to symptoms and have helped us create new tests for accurate ADHD assessment. One such test is known as the QbTest, which provides objective measurements of movements and attention using technology. Using infrared cameras and a short game, psychiatrists are now better able to diagnose ADHD in their patients.
Qb testing is new. It does not make other methods obsolete, however. Instead, this type of testing helps the psychiatrist and, when combined with other tests.
What Other Testing Methods Are Available?
You will work with your psychiatrist to determine what other diagnostic tests you may need. But there are several that will be useful for helping them analyze and assess ADHD. But they were imperfect. Let’s go through some of the tests that existed before Qb testing and see how we got here:
- Adult Evaluation
Focusing on a two-appointment system that allows psychiatrists to better assess patient motivation, a lot of early ADHD diagnosis happened in adulthood. While an analysis of previous childhood onset symptoms is a major factor of this method, the adult evaluation method mainly focuses on ADHD symptoms present in adult life, as well as looking for potential mimicked symptoms from other conditions. This process also allows for the recognition of substance abuse or other mental conditions as potential factors.
- Classical Diagnostic
Meant for children and adults, the American Psychiatric Associate has designed their own criteria for onset symptom analysis in potential ADHD patients. This system looks for severity in symptoms rather than the simply existence of them.
This differentiation allows for a psychiatrist to make a distinction between Impulsive Symptoms like difficulty waiting or a tendency to interrupt and Hyperactive Symptoms like an inability to stay seated or constant fidgeting of the feet and hands.
- Outlying Cause Diagnostic:
Outlying causes are ADHD symptoms that can be attributed to other common mental conditions or even unrelated physical health conditions. Psychiatrists look for these specific traits as to better understand a patient’s needs.
When you wonder why your health practitioner hasn’t finalized a diagnosis yet, often they are double checking your symptoms for other possible sources or factors. These other conditions are numerous, ranging from general anxiety or borderline personality disorders to head injuries and even simple hearing problems.
- Brain Wave Analysis:
As we near the advancements that lead to modern Qb ADHD testing methods, psychiatrists have also utilized brain waves as part of the diagnosis. Referred to as the Neuropsychiatric EEG-Based Assessment Aid, or NEBA, this process looks to measure specific brain waves that are often higher in children and young adults with ADHD or other attention deficit conditions.
As opposed to many of the other processes above, which are utilized for both adults and children, the NEBA process is intended for use in children ages 6 to 17. Unlike Qb testing, this test is also meant to be used as a piece of a more comprehensive psychological examination.
- Qb Testing
As we move forward into the new world of Qb testing, we have found an advancement that functions as a better barometer than ever before. By looking at small stimulus and analyzing motion with infrared cameras, we are able to better understand the hyperactivity of a patient’s condition.
This procedure bypasses the hurdles of a language barrier, creates a simple process for any age, and creates an unobtrusive environment for testing.
All of these tests are pieces of a puzzle. Mental health is not like a virus or a bacteria. It cannot be identified under a microscope. Instead, we combine different diagnostic imaging to help identify ADHD, its symptoms, its severity, and what we need to do to help treat it. Learn more by contacting Aware Behavioral Health, today.