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The World’s First Neurofeedback Device for Home Use by Autistic Children

Thursday 15 May, 2014
Managing Autism. A Hopeless Situation ?

Mothers caring for autistic children know well the thankless and heart-wrenching challenges of connecting with their child. No amount of love and patience seems to be able to unlock their child from their internal world. When they consult their health professionals they sadly draw a blank. While there may appear to be many techniques offered none seem to effectively break through and to make a material difference to the child in their engagement with the world.

This despairing situation is about to change. After five years of research and development and a year and a half of user-testing a product has just been launched on the market that draws on cutting-edge Neuroscience to help their child manage the symptoms of this challenging condition.

MenteTM designed to solve a Neuroscientist friend’s problem.

MenteTM is the world’s first device based on Neurofeedback specifically designed for home use by autistic children without the need for specialist assistance. Designed by a neuroscientist who developed the product after experiencing the challenges of a friend managing their son’s condition it is set to revolutionise the way mothers can help their children.

“This is personal for me,” Dr. Adrian Attard Trevisan, the inventor, says “When I was a student in Brittany I stayed with a family. Their son had Asperger’s. I spent time observing him, trying to understand his behaviour. I wasn’t observing him dispassionately, like a scientist conducting an experiment. I was watching him carefully to see where and how I could help the boy --- and my friend. I knew I had to help. This is when I started to think through how neurofeedback could be key to allowing my friend’s son, and others like him, focus and better engage the world.”

Patented Hi-Tech.

So, while it works on all ages and across a spectrum of autism conditions, AAT prioritises targetting Mente at school-age autistic children.

MenteTM patented technology listens to the autistic child’s brainwaves to create personalised sounds (binaural beats) designed to stimulate the reduction in the user’s Delta brainwaves. In an autistic child, the Delta brainwaves, which is naturally elevated at night remains over-active during the daytime. This causes many of the symptoms and distractions typically associated with autistic people as they struggle to cut through their ‘mental noise’.

“The technology may be high-tech but the objective is very simple: reduce the user’s Delta wave and the mind becomes calmer” explains Dr Trevisan ”For over a decade, neural feedback technology has proven an effective treatment but only available in some specialised institutions. MenteTM solves the challenge of making neural feedback technology available for use at home at an affordable price and without needing secialist supervision. In autistic people, the delta brainwaves, one of four, is associated with sleep and closed eyes, and it peaks constantly. Even when autistic children are awake, it leaves them in their own world. Mente 2 uses an auditory system to suppress these waves
The idea is not too dissimilar to the way noise-cancelling headphones work. These produce counter-noise to rid one of unwanted background sounds. MenteTM does something similar with brainwaves. Luckily, unlike noise-cancelling headphones, the effect of the use of MenteTM lasts even when the MenteTM headband is removed”


The MenteTM system consists of two components: a headband and software installed in the user’s personal computer or smartphone. The headband has five (4 channel) very sensitive EEG pads that pick up minute brainwaves (Alpha, Beta, Delta and Theta waves), emitted by the brain in real time.

MenteTM ’s software interprets the waves, processes them and converts them into harmless, personalised binaural beats which sound like music and which the user listens to either via the computer’s own speakers or the included headphones.

The software, which can be downloaded to a range of devices (PC, Smartphone, Tablet) communicates with the headband via a Wi-Fi connection, allowing the user to perform their daily habitual activities uninterruptedly – the autistic child cn play, watch TV or be in the car to school while Mente does its job.

Forty minutes a day at home is all it takes.

“All it takes is 40 minute every morning.” Says Dr Trevisan “after that the effects last the rest of the day until the child goes back to sleep. With sleep, the waves naturally elevate and the process must be repeated the next morning.”

After each session the software issues a daily report which shows an EEG representation of the key brainwaves before and after each session. The session report is designed for easy interpretation and provides a record of the progress the child is making from daily use of the therapy. The report is posted this to secure cloud server so that it may be available anytime should the child lose the headband or for review by health professionals anywhere in the world.

When asked if Mente 2 will work for every child who uses it, Dr. Attard Trevisan replied, “No one treatment will work for everyone. But we believe it will work for most children. It takes up to four weeks of daily use for positive results to start appearing. “MenteTM is not a cure for autism but we believe that it is the most effective aid in the management of autism” says Dr Trevisan “Parents have told me how well it has worked for their children and transformed their lives and that makes all the sacrifices worthwhile. Their behavour problems are decreased, teachers attest their school performance improves, and cares get some breathing space from the previous need for intensive supervision and care “

MenteTM is an FDA Class 2, CE (pending) and ISO 13485-certified (pending) EEG device.

Dr. Attard Trevisan has a PhD in neuroscience from the University of London and Masters Level qualifications in Engineering and Audiological Sciences from the University of London. He is working on a second PhD in Human Physiology at the University of Milan. Since founding AAT Research his academic partners have been University of Milan and University of Malta. In September 2013, he published a paper describing a clinical trial for the science behind Mente 2 in the Journal of Neurological Disorders, published by the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Attard Trevisan leads a team of six scientists.



CONTACT:
[email protected]
www.aatresearch.org
Tel. +356-2133-0588

AAT Research Ltd.
c/o MRA049B
Marsa Industrial Estate
Marsa MRS3000
Malta EU


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