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September 19, 2019

People with ADHD are more prone to dementia - An insight

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, was initially perceived to only affect children. However, in recent years, experts claim that the symptoms of ADHD carry on in life for many. According to the National Institute of Health, 8 to 12% of children who suffer from ADHD globally experience a decline in symptoms. However, approximately 4% continue to pass on signs as they age.

Causes of ADHD

ADHD can be the result of an array of contributing factors, including genes, exposure to environmental toxins, brain injury, low birth weight, and more. Despite these proposed theories, the exact cause of ADHD remains unknown.

ADHD Diagnosis

When it comes to diagnosis, certain symptoms point towards the ailments, including:

  • Hyperactivity
  • Inattentiveness
  • Disorganization
  • Irritability
  • Reduced tenacity
  • Impulsivity

A person with ADHD generally struggles with focusing on a given task and is often hyperactive. He struggles academically as well as in personal relationships. It is not uncommon for an ADHD patient to behave erratically in crowded social settings.

Substance abuse is also a frequently reported occurrence in adults living with ADHD. Lacking organization skills furthermore harbors serious outcomes in all aspects of their lives as well, including professional. In all such cases, TouchPoint Solution is the safest resort to deal with negativity, performance anxiety, and sleep deprivation.

Overcoming ADHD

ADHD is a disorder that requires special attention and work. Stress is an important aspect that you must pay special attention to. Therefore, you must invoke strategies that reduce stress in the ADHD affected individual so that their symptoms can be controlled.

A simple method often used to control stress uses micro-vibrations. Touchpoint solutions use a proprietary neurotechnology that helps reduce stress with the help of gentle haptic micro-vibrations called BLAST, or bilateral alternating stimulation tactile. These vibrations help restore a feeling of calm in the brain, thereby preventing other stress-related issues such as headaches, stomachaches, etc. When stress is at bay, other symptoms reduce automatically.

Dementia and Mental Illness

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, every one in five Americans suffers from mental illness with a few of the most commonly reported disorders being anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Dementia is a condition that encompasses a progressive loss of memory and cognition. It is an ailment that can go by unnoticed and thus untreated. The symptoms of dementia tally with routine symptoms that come with old age which can make it hard to distinguish between the two. By the time symptoms are evident, the ailment has already progressed to an advanced stage.

Types of Dementia

Some of the most common forms of dementia include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lewy Body dementia, Huntington’s disease, and vascular dementia. Each type of dementia comes with its own set of presenting signs and symptoms such as memory loss, increased confusion, altered concentration, depression, anxiety, etc.

 It is always advisable to seek professional help to make it easier to distinguish one from the other. If you feel like a loved one is exhibiting symptoms pointing towards dementia, an early diagnosis can save their life.

The link between ADHD and Dementia

ADHD is often linked to the second most common type of dementia known as Lewy Body dementia, or DLB. DLB, like any other neurocognitive disorder, presents with symptoms that resemble the symptoms of other disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Common presenting symptoms include impaired cognition, hallucinations, and locomotive issues – all of which significantly impact the affected individual's day-to-day workings.

One of the first studies to establish a link between ADHD and dementia was a 2011 study conducted in Argentina. Dr. Angel Golimstok and associates at the Hospital Italiano Buenos Aires studied the effect of ADHD on dementia development. They suggested that ADHD could lead to a series of neurological disorders in the future that may result in dementia.

The project analyzed 360 dementia patients - 251 with Alzheimer's disease and 109 with DLB. One hundred forty-nine subjects were appointed as controls for the study. The results of the survey revealed that approximately 48% of the patients who suffered from DLB previously also suffered from ADHD and were three times more likely to develop dementia than the rest. The study concretized the link between the two ailments because dementia and ADHD both result from faulty neurotransmitter pathways.

In 2017, a Taiwanese study published in the Journal of Attention Disorders discovered that adults with ADHD had a much higher chance of developing dementia in the future. The study focused on 675 adults between the ages of 18 to 54 who had been diagnosed with ADHD in the past. They were compared with a control group of almost 2000 people with no history of ADHD. The study spanned over ten years and showed that people diagnosed with ADHD were 3.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with dementia.

These results, however, are exclusive of limitations. The Argentinian study did not diagnose its subjects with ADHD. Instead, it relied on the opinion of those who are close to the patient. This may have resulted in inconsistencies because word of mouth is different from a proper medical diagnosis. Similarly, the Taiwanese study did not take contributing factors into consideration, such as lifestyle choices, education, etc.

Parting Thoughts

The link between dementia and ADHD remains undecided. To confirm this assumption, more studies must be carried out which have larger data sets, a greater span over more extended periods, and should consider multiple factors instead of focusing on a mere few.

It can be particularly challenging to make reliable connections owing to the complex nature of neurocognitive disorders; therefore, more insight is necessary to solidify the claim.

*This blog post was written by Alycia Gordan

ABOUT Alycia Gordan

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness, and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

 

 


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