A new study links ADHD in adults with an increased risk of a dementia diagnosis
Adults with ADHD may be nearly three times more likely to develop dementia, according to a new study that suggested there may be both lifestyle and biological links between the two.
“The primary analysis indicated that an adult ADHD diagnosis was associated with a 2.77-fold increased dementia risk,” said the study, which followed more than 109,000 adults, and analyzed the dementia risk of those with an ADHD diagnosis in adulthood.
Similar to children with ADHD, adults with ADHD may struggle with “difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior,” explains the Mayo Clinic, which points out that in some cases, ADHD isn’t diagnosed until someone is an adult.
That may include “poor dietary habits and lack of exercise, obesity and hypertension, all of which contribute to dementia risk," she said.
And as the National Institute of Health points out, “epidemiological studies showed that dietary fat intake is associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) and dementia risk.”
Lifestyle and behavioral influences aside, there could be an underlying neurobiological link between ADHD and dementia, Beeri adds.
"It is conceivable that the neurobiology of ADHD contributes to compromised brain and cognitive reserve, increasing dementia risk in old age,” Beeri told Health.
While a direct link between ADHD and dementia remains unknown, Sven Sandin, PhD, co-author of the study, told Health that “it is possible that some of the genetic causes of ADHD and the genetic causes of dementia are the same, and therefore there are similar genetic pathways to both disorders.”
A previous 2021 study found that the link between ADHD and dementia is stronger in men than it is in women.
Dementia is the umbrella term for the "impaired ability to remember, think, or make decisions that interferes with doing everyday activities," says the CDC, which points out that dementia is not a part of "normal aging."
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Read the original article on People.