New Diagnostic Testing for ADHD

April 22, 2009

How do you know if you really have ADHD? There is no blood test, no X-ray, no brain scan. Typically the standard of care for diagnosing ADHD is meeting with a professional to talk about your history and and fill out rating scales to quantify the severity of your symptoms. So the best we have to offer is a visit to your doctor. Understandably this often leaves parents and individuals wondering how accurate can such subjective measures be.

The truth is there is often significant risk of misdiagnosis when only subjective measures are used. The result – patients may be taking ADD medications they do not need or may be on the wrong medication. To date there have been few, if any, objective testing options. Neuropsychological testing has been somewhat helpful for diagnosis, but is time intensive and costly, with limited sensitivity.

New and exciting news in the ADHD field is there is now an FDA approved objective tool for adjunctive diagnosis, the Quotient. Developed by Biobehavioral Diagnostics, the Quotient tests ADHD symptoms – motion, attention, and impulsivity – with greater than 90% accuracy. The test can be done in an office setting in conjunction with the typical standard clinical evaluation with your doctor. We have been successfully using the Quotient in our practice for 4 months and find the objective information useful for both diagnosis and also for evaluating how clients are responding to their medications. We are able to test someone’s focus off medication, then give medication and retest within hours if the medication is helping.

The Quotient has been approved by the FDA as an adjunctive tool for diagnosing ADHD. For more information you can review the Quotient at


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