Publication: NBC Cleveland (WKYC)
Published: June 19th, 2007
By: Monica Robins

Video game helps kids with attention deficits. Attention deficit disorders cause frustration among thousands of children and their parents. Not only is it difficult for them to concentrate, ADD can also cause forgetfulness.

But what if it were possible to re-train the brain?

There’s a new drug free method that’s actually fun for kids. 20-year-old Chris Tonelli was diagnosed with ADHD in the third grade. He spent his life avoiding anything complicated.

“I wasn’t really focused. I wasn’t organized I mean it was a struggle.” Chris says.

He stuck to menial jobs at his parent’s concession stand like loading stock. Then last summer his pediatrician, Dr. Arthur Lavin, suggested he play a video game.

It’s called Cogmed and it’s designed to improve working memory function.

“Working memory is like the RAM in a computer. It’s the part of your brain that holds more than one piece of information in your mind at a time.” Lavin said. The games aren’t easy. They challenge your memory and the better you do, the more difficult they get.

It helped Chris. “With ADHD my brain was going a million miles a minute, but this really helped me slow down and think.”

He played the games 30 minutes a day five days a week for five weeks. Dr. Lavin coached him and monitored his progress.
“80% of patients have had significant changes in their working memory capacity and about half of those people have had what I would consider major changes in their life.” Lavin says.

Chris now has the confidence to work the cash register at the concession stand. He’s more focused in college and looking forward to his junior year.

He adds, “This isn’t a joke, it’s something that can really help.”
Currently the program is ony available for children. A five week program costs $1500. An adult version will be available in the fall. For more information, click on the links or call

A Working Mind
6902 Pearl Road- Suite 405
Cleveland, OH 44130