Authors: CARL SHERMAN, PH.D., MAGGIE JACKSON, PAMELA MICHAELS, PAUL GILBERT, DEVON FRYE, JANICE RODDEN

There are an abundance of brain training exercises that are available today, ranging from free 5-minute sessions to extensive (and expensive) programs. So what’s the catch? Are these making any difference at all in brain development for ADHD and dyslexic minds? The authors from Additude--an ADHD-focused magazine--carefully dissect popular brain training and memory games in search of an answer.

For ADHD, brain training mostly consists of either neurofeedback or cognitive training, each varying in ways they address the way the brain works. Dyslexia is often a comorbidity to ADHD, making learning and retaining knowledge a constant struggle. There is limited research around the efficacy of brain training for ADHD, making it very difficult to make generalized conclusions since there is such a variety of different techniques. In recent years, brain training apps have become increasingly popular, enticing people with their game-like interfaces and activities.

There are both critics of brain training and proponents for its use, each with their own reasoning. Those on the critic side argue the claimed “guaranteed results and improvements” are just from repeating the same exercises again and again, not actually from altering the neural connections. On the other hand, advocates harp on positive testimonials and argue that technology-driven brain training is the future for the ADHD/dyslexic population.

Whichever side you may agree with, brain training games and apps are not going anywhere. It is important to take into consideration both the advantages and disadvantages of using these tools for someone with ADHD or dyslexia. In addiiton, it is important to remember that brain training games are not a replacement for real treatments, but rather should be used as a supplemental, fun activity.

Read the full article from Additude here, which includes a breakdown of all the major apps on the market today to help you decide which would best suit you or your child’s needs.