Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) appears to be somehow linked to risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, a new multigenerational study has found.
Parents and grandparents of people with ADHD have a higher risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia than people with no ADHD in their family, Swedish researchers said.
Specifically, parents of an ADHD child have a 34% higher risk of dementia and 55% higher risk of Alzheimer’s, the results showed. Grandparents have about an 11% increased risk of either condition.
“ADHD is associated with dementia across generations,” said lead researcher Le Zhang, a doctoral candidate with the Karolinska Institute’s department of medical epidemiology and biostatistics, in Stockholm. “Our study calls attention to advancing the understanding of ADHD and cognitive decline in older age.”
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder and Alzheimer’s disease and any dementia: A multi-generation cohort study in Sweden (Alzheimer’s and Dementia). From the Abstract:
- Introduction: We examined the extent to which attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a neurodevelopmental disorder, is linked with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and any dementia, neurodegenerative diseases, across generations…
- Results: Among relatives of 2,132,929 index persons, 3042 parents, 171,732 grandparents, and 1369 uncles/aunts had a diagnosis of AD. Parents of individuals with ADHD had an increased risk of AD (hazard ratio 1.55, 95% confidence interval 1.26–1.89). The associations attenuated but remained elevated in grandparents and uncles/aunts. The association for early-onset AD was stronger than late-onset AD. Similar results were observed for any dementia.
- Discussion: ADHD is associated with AD and any dementia across generations. The associations attenuated with decreasing genetic relatedness, suggesting shared familial risk between ADHD and AD.
The Study in Context:
- What are cognitive abilities and how to boost them?
- Study shows why children with ADHD should be reevaluated each year: Attention problems perceived by teachers are far less stable than we imagine
- Study: High Cognitive Reserve (CR) seen to significantly lower dementia risk even in the presence of high Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) neuropathology