Jungle Rangers Game Maker Agrees to Cease ADHD-Treatment Claims

The maker of Jungle Rangers brain-training software agreed to stop making “baseless” claims that the game improves children’s attention and school performance, the Federal Trade Commission said.

Focus Education LLC also agreed to cease saying Jungle Rangers permanently improves focus, memory and behavior in children, including those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the FTC said, citing a proposed consent order.

“This case is the most recent example of the FTC’s efforts to ensure that advertisements for cognitive products, especially those marketed for children, are true and supported by evidence,” Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, said in a statement. “Many parents are interested in products that can improve their children’s focus, behavior and grades, but companies must back up their brain-training claims with reliable science.”

This is the commission’s first case regarding brain-training games, according to spokesman Mitchell Katz. Most of its other actions were against makers of dietary supplements. He declined to say whether other companies selling brain-training games are under investigation. The market is estimated at more than $1 billion.

Marketing Claims

Scientists say consumers should be skeptical of marketing claims that brain-training games can improve their cognitive abilities. Scientific studies have failed to show significant effects of brain-training games on children with ADHD. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 11 percent of U.S. children between the ages of 4 and 17 had an ADHD diagnosis in 2011.

Focus Education, which sold Jungle Rangers computer game as part of its $214.75 ifocus System, had generated sales of about $4.5 million from 2012 to the middle of 2013, the FTC said. A call to Houston-based Focus Education was answered by a recording saying the company is no longer selling Jungle Rangers or ifocus.

The commission voted 5-0 to accept the order and will decide whether to make the agreement final after a period of public comment.