Akili Interactive Jumps Into Depression Treatment Game With Promising Results

As it readies for a commercial rollout of its debut, FDA-cleared prescription digital therapeutic, EndeavorRx, video game company Akili Interactive is considering other neurological conditions that its interactive programs could help treat. Study results published in the American Journal of Psychiatry indicate the company’s offering for major depressive disorder, AKL-T03, could be highly successful. The disorder’s associated cognitive impairments, such as slow decision making, memory loss, and difficulty concentrating, are the focus of this treatment – as opposed to the typical goal of depression therapy, which is mood uplift. AKL-T03 would therefore act as a supplement to traditional antidepressant medication.

The promising study evaluated 74 antidepressant-prescribed adults between the ages of 25 to 55 over a six-week period, tasking them with 25 minutes of gameplay per day, five days per week. The subjects used either the Akili games or a digital control program, with both being provided on an iPad. With the Test of Variables of Attention in play, researchers concluded that, compared to the control group, those using the Akili system demonstrated noticeable improvements in sustained attention and cognitive functioning.

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EndeavorRx, Akili’s initial offering, was greenlit in 2020 to improve attentive behaviors in children aged 8 to 12 with ADHD. Other programs in the works are meant to target a broader range of kids with ADHD, and the company has designed new games to address symptoms of multiple sclerosis, autism spectrum disorder, and post-COVID-19 brain fog.