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New device Monarch eTNS claims to treat children with ADHD without drug usage

For parents who have a child with developmental disorder, prescription of drugs for their child can often raise many questions. Most of the doctors do not prescribe drugs for developmental disorders like autism or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Instead, therapies and special education are the right methods to enhance skills of the child. Now, a group of researchers have developed the device Monarch external Trigeminal Nerve Stimulation System, popularly known as Monarch eTNS system. This sends low-level electrical pulses through the child's brain and supposedly helps in better functioning.

In the United States, Monarch eTNS is slowly gaining popularity. It is expected to hit other parts of the world soon. This is best suitable for children between the age group of seven to twelve. Researchers believe that since children with ADHD of this age are often prescribed with drugs, Monarch eTNS will help them to stay away from medications.

But not every expert who works in this field is happy about introduction of the Monarch eTNS. Seema Lal, founder of the group TogetherWeCan says that Monarch eTNS is going to do more harm than good for children with ADHD.

ADHD diagnosis is on an alarming rise even in pre-schoolers. Most of these attention issues can be worked with some basic education for both parents and teachers. Most importantly, children must move around and play. They need ample amount of sunlight, exercise and water. But instead, caretakers end up giving them sugar loaded drinks and then label the child as hyperactive! Free play is important during childhood. They need to learn by falling down and getting up. Most of them are stuck at home with gadgets. They need good rest and sleep for at least eight hours. They must also be allowed to express their emotions. Provide them with the right diet as well-Seema Lal, Founder, TogetherWeCan

Monarch eTNS works in a simple manner. The device, which is as small as a cell phone, stimulates the trigeminal nerve and hence delivers a low-level electrical pulse through a wire connected to a small patch that is placed on the child's forehead. The signals will be sent to those parts of the brain that is believed to be involved in ADHD. Though researchers have not given a clear idea of how this functions, Monarch eTNS is believed to have been successfully implemented on many children.

"Parents must teach children basic discipline and their boundaries. 90% of the issues are solved that way. They do not need any medications or therapeutic interventions. Honestly, I hope this Monarch eTNS is not legalised in any country, says Lal.

According to the inventors of the device, children show improvement in just four weeks. But it comes with certain side effects like difficulty in sleeping, increased appetite, headaches and drowsiness.

"Like all kinds of ailments, even special needs diagnosis undergoes many experiments. There is always a trial and error in it. It might or might not work. Maybe Monarch eTNS would actually work well on children since it has been scientifically tested and proved, says Nandita Paul, a Special Educator from Pune.

ALSO READ: Make classrooms friendly for children with ADHD

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