Researchers report that ADHD adults, those adults who are suffering from attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, are over 3 times as more likely to get a common type of degenerative dementia compared to those not having ADHD.
The researchers established the association in a study of 360 subjects having degenerative dementia and 149 healthy control subjects. The dementia subjects were made up of 251 people with Alzheimer’s and 109 people having dementia with Lewy bodies.
The study revealed that 48% of the subjects that had dementia with Lewy bodies, the 2nd most common reason for degenerative dementia in the elderly following Alzheimer’s disease, had suffered from adult ADHD in the past.
Dementia with Lewy bodies is a degenerative neurological condition which has a progressive and debilitating impact on an individual’s physical and mental skills. Other symptoms can consist of frequent visual hallucinations, changes in the individual’s everyday capabilities and spontaneous mobility problems much like those seen in Parkinson’s.
ADHD is one of the most frequently found behavior disorders in child and adolescent psychiatry, and the problems it causes, like difficulty focusing, hyperactivity and behaving impulsively, can carry on into adulthood.
It’s thought that the same problems with neurotransmitter pathways are involved in the development of both conditions, so the study tested the theory that dementia with Lewy bodies is often preceded by adult ADHD.
The prevalence of symptoms of ADHD in dementia with Lewy bodies cases was significantly higher in comparison to the control group and also higher in comparison to Alzheimer’s cases. Hyperactivity and impulsivity, which are important ADHD symptoms, were significantly higher in the dementia with Lewy bodies group compared to the Alzheimer’s group as well as the control group.
The researchers concluded that the study has established a clear association between adult ADHD symptoms and dementia with Lewy bodies.
The common neurotransmitter dysfunction found in adult ADHD and dementia with Lewy bodies seems to be the explanation for the link. There’s certainly a common process linked to both conditions and it seems that ADHD frequently evolves into dementia with Lewy bodies as the person ages.