Study reveals adults with ADHD face greater risk of dementia

A new study sheds light on people who are at risk of dementia, revealing that adults diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be almost three times more likely to go on to develop dementia.

The research followed 109,218 adults both with and without the condition over a period of 17 years and found that 13.2% of participants with ADHD went on to develop dementia compared to 7% of those who did not have an ADHD diagnosis.

Even after adjusting for a range of potential factors, including heart problems, and calculating the hazard ratio, ADHD sufferers were still 2.77 times more likely to develop dementia conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Study reveals adults with ADHD face a greater risk of dementia

risk of dementia


Researchers who conducted the study believe that the findings offer scientists new insight into the possible neurological mechanisms that might trigger dementia. The study also helped to identify more people who could be at greater risk so that precautions and proactive treatments could be taken.

The findings raise important implications for medical professionals and caregivers in how to approach the treatment and care of those suffering from ADHD.

According to neurologist Michal Schnaider Beeri from Rutgers University; “By determining if adults with ADHD are at a higher risk for dementia and if medications and/or lifestyle changes can affect risks, the outcomes of this research can be used to better inform caregivers and clinicians.”

risk of dementia


The study also found that it was of particular importance that physicians and clinicians monitor seniors with ADHD symptoms for signs and risk of dementia.

Stephen Levine of the School of Public Health at the University of Haifa said: “Symptoms of attention deficit and hyperactivity in old age shouldn’t be ignored and should be discussed with physicians.”

The research findings suggest that the neural processes involved in ADHD could affect the brain’s ability to resist cognitive decline, however, the data is not yet sufficient to demonstrate a direct correlation.

Despite the research, it is still important for medical professionals to monitor older adults for symptoms of ADHD while considering medication or lifestyle changes that may mitigate the risk of dementia.

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