Adults with ADHD are at higher risk of developing dementia in later life

Adults with ADHD are at high risk of developing dementia in later life

If attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is left untreated, it can have far-reaching consequences for health, family and career. Women are particularly affected.

Those who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as adults are nearly three times more likely to develop dementia, according to a new study.

“The prospective cohort study included nearly 110,000 adults. When subjects were enrolled in the study about 20 years ago, they were between 51 and 70 years old and did not have ADHD or a diagnosis of dementia at the time. However, adults with ADHD patients who received psychostimulants to treat this disorder did not have an increased risk of developing dementia,” says neurologist Alexandra Alyokhina, commenting on the study specifically for MedicForum.

ADHD affects not only young people

ADHD and dementia – how do they go together? This association may seem surprising since ADHD is predominantly diagnosed in children and adolescents after suspected abnormal behavior has been observed at home or at school.

The main characteristics are hyperactivity, manifested by an excessive urge to move, impulsivity, manifested by rash actions, and a short attention span, which is characterized by inattention and impaired ability to concentrate.

ADHD is also characterized by very rapid and strong emotional fluctuations. This can cause an extreme emotional reaction, such as sudden anger, deep sadness, or even intense joy.

But as with many mental illnesses, the symptoms of ADHD can vary widely. Individual symptoms can vary in severity and do not always have to occur simultaneously.

A diagnosis that is too common

ADHD, or ADHD, which stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is not a fashionable disease, as is sometimes believed. This behavioral disorder has always existed, and for those who are truly affected, it is a very big burden.

“ADHD is too often misdiagnosed. Not every lack of concentration is ADHD, and not every restless or inattentive child actually has ADHD . From 2 to 6 percent of all children and adolescents suffer from pathological attention disorders and motor restlessness.”

ADHD still often remains undiagnosed

Because individual symptoms can vary in severity and do not always occur simultaneously, ADHD is often underdiagnosed. Survivors often suffer throughout their lives – at work or in relationships, for example, because they are easily distracted at work, constantly put off important tasks, or because strong emotional outbursts create tension in their relationships.

ADHD begins in childhood and adolescence and often persists into adulthood. And the disorder is not very well studied, especially in adults, since most ADHD research is done on children.

ADHD in Adulthood

“In adulthood, the symptoms of ADHD change significantly. Instead hyperactivity, adults with ADHD suffer from very intense inner restlessness that keeps them awake at night. They are prone to very risky behavior, such as driving.”
Victims have the desire to complete a task, but it simply doesn't work: they feel paralyzed or blocked. Your problems with concentration, forgetfulness or lack of planning can have very negative consequences, especially in your professional life.

In women, ADHD often goes undetected

ADHD often goes undetected, especially in girls and women. Boys more often correspond to the hyperactive type. Accordingly, boys are diagnosed with ADHD in childhood about twice as often as girls.

“Girls with ADHD tend to behave inconspicuously at school and at home, do not fail classes, but are rather inattentive or daydreaming.”
As adult women, they often cope with everyday life, family and work – albeit with great effort. Affected women have usually learned to function and usually behave in a more socially acceptable manner than affected men. This is also why the disease is less often diagnosed in women.

Risks of Undiagnosed ADHD

If ADHD is left untreated, it can have far-reaching consequences on everyday life, work and relationships. And, as the study shows, this can have serious health consequences even in old age. Therefore, it is all the more important to make a diagnosis as early as possible.

Earlier, MedicForum wrote about the connection between gastrointestinal diseases and vitamin deficiency.

Important! Information is provided for reference purposes. Ask a specialist about contraindications and side effects and under no circumstances self-medicate. At the first signs of illness, consult a doctor.