View Full Version : Adult ADHD Often Precedes Dementia


K-Funk
05-31-11, 10:42 AM
oh crap, really??? :(

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/family-health/brain-and-behavior/articles/2011/01/19/adult-adhd-often-precedes-certain-type-of-dementia-study

Dizfriz
05-31-11, 12:56 PM
It is just one study and needs to be replicated. Even if it is, the odds are not too bad.

The study says that about half (48) of this specific type was correlated with ADHD. The study also says about 10% of the cases of dementia are of this type (they also say it could be higher) but either way the odds are quite low for any given individual with ADHD will have this specific history and outcome.

Interesting study, thanks for posting it. There is very likely to be some serious followup to replicate the data.

Dizfriz

Kaimei
05-31-11, 01:35 PM
It's an interesting study, but it definitely needs more research and data before I start worrying. Also, finding an association between two disorders is not the same thing as verifying one as a precursor to the other.

Honestly, though, I can't really say I'm surprised when I see studies like this. Given the mechanisms of ADHD, the causes and effects, there's bound to be other neurological conditions that go with the territory.

Don't worry, K-Funk. We'll still like you even if you can't remember who we are!

kilted_scotsman
05-31-11, 02:52 PM
Doesn't surprise me... i suspect more information like this will appear.

Alzheimers runs in my family, and i think ADD does too.

Oh joy

kilted

sarahsweets
05-31-11, 03:25 PM
It seems like add precedes everything that was ever wrong with everybody. I'm waiting for them to sayy add precedes stubbing your toe in your 50's

Fortune
05-31-11, 04:40 PM
This story came up back in January, too.

Hopefully it's not that likely. Do not love the idea, but not excessively worried about it.

ADDapting
05-31-11, 07:27 PM
This worries me! My mother died from Alzheimers, and had Parkinson's disease also. Due to the Alzheimer's genetic link, I already had a 27% chance of developing the disease.

My mother's disease was confirmed with autopsy. I think I still have a copy of it. Does anyone know what I might look for to determine if she had the "Lewy body" type?

stones
05-31-11, 08:00 PM
I have good news.

Studies suggest that taking Melatonin supplements can help ward off dementia and aid in the treatment of Alzheimers.

Just Google "melatonin to treat dementia and Alzheimers" there is loads of info on it.

So for us "An apple a day" would be -"A Melatonin a day keeps the degenerative neurological condition away"

grandma lise
05-31-11, 10:18 PM
It is just one study and needs to be replicated. Even if it is, the odds are not too bad.

The study says that about half (48) of this specific type was correlated with ADHD. The study also says about 10% of the cases of dementia are of this type (they also say it could be higher) but either way the odds are quite low for any given individual with ADHD will have this specific history and outcome.

Interesting study, thanks for posting it. There is very likely to be some serious followup to replicate the data.

Dizfriz

Good point. There's also been research showing that vitamins C and/or E have a significant preventative effect. My hope is that this is nutritional issue, not an AD/HD issue. That's at least how I'm approaching this.

Lisa

anonymouslyadd
05-31-11, 10:33 PM
I emailed Dr. Russell Barkley the link and asked him if he had heard about it earlier today.

He said he will get the original article and look it over. He says the risk for dementia is still "quite low" in those with ADHD.

He did say that there may be something to what the researchers have found. Barkley pointed out though that 10% of the population will have dementia and of these, about 3% will receive lewy bodies (of these half had ADD). Furthermore, it leaves just 1.5% of the adult population.

He added that a reverse study has not been done to see how many ADDers will progress to have Dementia, concluding if there's a correlation, it's weak for now.

Kunga Dorji
05-31-11, 11:19 PM
I have heard of this several times.

I think this is a neuroplasticity effect.

Consider these facts:
1) There is a statistic kicking round that ADHD is very socially isolating- that 1/2 of males undiagnosed at age 50 have one or no friends.
2) We are social animals and the brain operates on a "use it or lose it" basis.
There are statistics around that show that
i) Lack of social activity increases the risk for dementia
ii) increased hours watching TV is a risk for dementia ( but that is what you do when you are alone and depressed)
iii) Chronic depression is a risk for dementia.

I say look at all this and "welcome to the world of the older person with undiagnosed untreated, uncontrolled ADHD- the perfect recipe for dementia.

The stats around brain shrinkage with age are interesting- this problem happens to some people but not to others- that "curve of best fit" conceals a host of different individual outcomes.

Neuroplasticity is a remarkable phenomenon.
If you keep on being physically active, doing new things and meeting new people and putting yourself out there you keep on stimulating new connections- your brain will stay young.

I know this sounds like an impossible task to those worse affected than I am now- but quite honestly the diagnosis and treatment of my ADHD has transformed my life and I now have plenty of new ideas new activities and new social contacts happening. If you had told me at the start of 2008 that my life would be going as well as it is now- I simply would not have believed you. I thought I was ready for the scrapheap. A turnaround is possible- but not if you do not believe it is possible.

Kunga Dorji
05-31-11, 11:26 PM
I would add to this that when you look around there are lots of rather socially odd old people around living isolated lives in houses stacked full of mess created by being unable to throw anything out. My bet is that this is the natural history of ADHD if we do not take ourselves in hand.

Abi
05-31-11, 11:28 PM
I soooooooooooo want to say that I've always thought.......

But the Wellbutrin seems to be holding me back. Good stuff.

ADDapting
05-31-11, 11:37 PM
Thanks for the tip. I'll check it out.


I have good news.

Studies suggest that taking Melatonin supplements can help ward off dementia and aid in the treatment of Alzheimers.

Just Google "melatonin to treat dementia and Alzheimers" there is loads of info on it.

So for us "An apple a day" would be -"A Melatonin a day keeps the degenerative neurological condition away"

ADDapting
05-31-11, 11:59 PM
Thank you very much for the full article. That helps tremendously in understanding.

Of course, these people did not have diagnosed ADHD, rather ADHD symptoms were assessed retrospectively based on history from those who knew the patients. They found only a significant correlation with the hyperactivity and impulsivity feature of ADHD.

I would summarize the findings as showing that about half of Lewy-body dementia patients have a life history of hyperactivity and impulsivity symptoms. That is interesting and I look forward to learning about future research.

I agree that the risk of dementia is still quite low for the general ADHD population. It may be bad news for me however because my mother had dementia and parkinsons, possibly this Lewy body type. I already knew my risk was pretty high though - at least a 1 in 4 chance.

I emailed Dr. Russell Barkley the link and asked him if he had heard about it earlier today.

He said he will get the original article and look it over. He says the risk for dementia is still "quite low" in those with ADHD.

He did say that there may be something to what the researchers have found. Barkley pointed out though that 10% of the population will have dementia and of these, about 3% will receive lewy bodies (of these half had ADD). Furthermore, it leaves just 1.5% of the adult population.

He added that a reverse study has not been done to see how many ADDers will progress to have Dementia, concluding if there's a correlation, it's weak for now.

anonymouslyadd
06-01-11, 12:10 AM
My Aunt has dementia pretty bad. :( I don't think she has ADD though.

ADDapting
06-01-11, 12:23 AM
There are statistics around that show that
i) Lack of social activity increases the risk for dementia
ii) increased hours watching TV is a risk for dementia ( but that is what you do when you are alone and depressed)
iii) Chronic depression is a risk for dementia.

I am highly skeptical that these are risk factors for dementia. I think it is rather more likely dementia is a cause, not the effect, of lack of social life, watching lots of TV and depression.


Neuroplasticity is a remarkable phenomenon.
If you keep on being physically active, doing new things and meeting new people and putting yourself out there you keep on stimulating new connections- your brain will stay young.

You don't know how much I wish this were true. Continued mental activity can ameliorate the effects of dementia, but it doesn't prevent it. My mother played tennis, swam, jogged, had an active social life, read and was involved in local politics, when the disease started and then gradually took most of that from her.

I know this sounds like an impossible task to those worse affected than I am now- but quite honestly the diagnosis and treatment of my ADHD has transformed my life and I now have plenty of new ideas new activities and new social contacts happening. If you had told me at the start of 2008 that my life would be going as well as it is now- I simply would not have believed you. I thought I was ready for the scrapheap. A turnaround is possible- but not if you do not believe it is possible.I am glad for your success and I agree that it is possible to have a great life for those of us with ADHD. But please, don't confuse the possibilities for treatment of ADHD, with prevention and treatment of dementia.

anonymouslyadd
06-01-11, 12:40 AM
Neuroplasticity is a remarkable phenomenon.
If you keep on being physically active, doing new things and meeting new people and putting yourself out there you keep on stimulating new connections- your brain will stay young.

Barliman, I gotta say something about this my Aussie friend. This type of argument is synonymous to what people say, who don't believe in the existence of ADD. They'll say they need to discipline them more and use the jargon "don't spare the rod." I'm not saying that neuroplasticity isn't an interesting phenemonon of the brain. However, to suggest that this could somehow prevent dementia, which is what I feel you are doing, has no scientific basis. Where's the science from what you have deduced?

Kunga Dorji
06-01-11, 06:19 AM
Barliman, I gotta say something about this my Aussie friend. This type of argument is synonymous to what people say, who don't believe in the existence of ADD. They'll say they need to discipline them more and use the jargon "don't spare the rod." I'm not saying that neuroplasticity isn't an interesting phenemonon of the brain. However, to suggest that this could somehow prevent dementia, which is what I feel you are doing, has no scientific basis. Where's the science from what you have deduced?


What I am not doing is saying that all dementia is preventable. What I am doing is saying
1) That cognitive decline can be ameliorated by appropriate activity and ongoing learning.
2) I would also observe that there is a good argument to be made that once cognitive decline reaches a certain point you have a self sustaining process as the amount of interest and input declines.
The same process happens in depression where an individual becomes more depressed, and cuts off the activities and socialisation that sustains mood. The understanding of that process is central to thepractice of CBT again- hardly controversial.Equally- the much higher rates of early death ( all causes ) in the sedentary worker has been documented many times.
You could start by reading up on Norman Doidge.
Over the course of my life I have seen enough cases of dramatic decline following retirement in individuals with no interests outside work.
People do just lose their purpose and involute and go into decline.
If you take the trouble to look there is ample evidence to support this.
Alzheimer's is a complex disorder, and there may well be other issues such as prion disease. As for ADHD there are probably different causes in different individuals- however there is a nexus between depression, social isolation and cognitive decline. It is well documented and has been reported on many times.
Surprisingly enough - I have not saved and cross filed the necessary information, but it is out there.
As I have said many times before- do not be sucked in to the idea that the current scientific orthodoxy is actually correct - or even remotely proven.

Equally, it is understood that confidence in the reasonable possibility of success is central to accessing these sort of benefits.
In one's personal conduct it becomes important to quite deliberately embrace this idea and to surround oneself with an environment that supports that style of personal development. I am quite happy to review the results of a retrospective analysis of the outcome of this way of thinking in 30 years or so.

sarahsweets
06-01-11, 06:27 AM
Do you mean in general about adhd or specifically in relation to dementia?

adhdwptsd
06-01-11, 12:17 PM
I would like to thank everyone for sharing all the information here...Education is key not hiding our heads in the sand.........

adhdwptsd

Impetus
06-01-11, 07:44 PM
imma just write something here so i can find this again later..... it's furture pondering material! :)

Kunga Dorji
06-01-11, 11:27 PM
Barliman, I gotta say something about this my Aussie friend. This type of argument is synonymous to what people say, who don't believe in the existence of ADD. They'll say they need to discipline them more and use the jargon "don't spare the rod." I'm not saying that neuroplasticity isn't an interesting phenemonon of the brain. However, to suggest that this could somehow prevent dementia, which is what I feel you are doing, has no scientific basis. Where's the science from what you have deduced?

Some of the science (though mostly directed to the neuroplasticity benefits of meditation in ADHD) is attached to that post I made about the "Clinical Handbook of Mindfulness"
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=103524

The trick is to be aware that there is a huge difference between saying there is a behavioural way to modify a problem and apportioning blame for a person not having taken that way before.

Equally- there does seem to be evidence accumulating that social and intellectual engagement programs can slow the progression of even an organically based dementia. I do not have that on hand though- I came across it years ago when I was doing a lot of nursing home work. Thankfully I am no longer working in that area.
We usually confuse these 2 distinct issues.

tudorose
06-02-11, 08:29 PM
interesting. So the abilities that we lack because of the ADHD are going to degenerate in old age. I wonder if medication has a mitigating effect

Rebelyell
06-02-11, 08:33 PM
Sheet I already suffer from crs so why worry?:D

Kunga Dorji
06-03-11, 01:13 AM
One other item that is worth bringing up here is the issue of the secondary effects of ADHD. Issues like stress overeating, self medication with alcohol inadequate diet due to our ADHD disorganization are ALL likely to contribute to accelerated aging of the brain and all other parts of the body.

Kunga Dorji
06-03-11, 01:14 AM
interesting. So the abilities that we lack because of the ADHD are going to degenerate in old age. I wonder if medication has a mitigating effect

It does.

Abi
06-03-11, 01:16 AM
What about people who only started medicating late in life, like say in their late 40's? Would it do much to prevent the onset of dementia?

tudorose
06-03-11, 02:52 AM
One other item that is worth bringing up here is the issue of the secondary effects of ADHD. Issues like stress overeating, self medication with alcohol inadequate diet due to our ADHD disorganization are ALL likely to contribute to accelerated aging of the brain and all other parts of the body.

It's this sort of stuff that I reckon will get most of us first. I know I stress way to much and I also eat too much and I don't rest enough. I try but hey there's only so many hours in the day and when you're only running at 50% - 70% productivity.....

I wonder how many ADHDers live that long for this to be an issue or if we generally come to an end by doing stupid things instead.

Kunga Dorji
06-03-11, 04:39 AM
What about people who only started medicating late in life, like say in their late 40's? Would it do much to prevent the onset of dementia?


I certainly hope so- because I was diagnosed at age 46!
The bottom line is we don't know.

I have just come back from seeing a really interesting chiropractor with an exceptional knowledge of nutrition and really high end neurology This guy leaves every neurologist I know [and I am a doctor who refers to these guys quite often] flat footed and looking ignorant.

I am sure that the stress state caused by my ADHD (and my atlas problem )was causing profound metabolic derangements. In the last few years before I was diagnosed I lost my sense of smell, and developed a scar on one of my retinas that slightly distorts my vision.

I really felt like I was going downhill fast, and I had no idea how to stop it happening. NOTHING in conventional medicine explained what was happening to me.

Now I have experienced a whole range of improvements in neurological function and none of these awful problems has progressed.

Regardless of the fact that I do not have the hard scientific fact to support this statement- I am genuinely convinced that the treatment of the ADHD and the atlas problem have brought an end to this seeming process of accelerated aging that I appeared to be suffering.

Now I know that is single case and anecdotal- but I trust my intuition and I trust my observational skills and my judgment in analysing this data.

This is quite a tricky situation for me- in being so subjective I go against all the traditions of my profession. However I know that given the slow pace of medicine in accepting new ideas( especially when they clash with the accepted wisdom) that if I am right about my observations many people will suffer serious complications and die if I do not do my best to speak about my experiences and raise awareness and get people asking their own questions. So there it is- my experience is out there for all to see. The neck stuff is documented on my blog.Look at it yourselves. Make your own assessment- but trust your own intelligence and accept that "the accepted wisdom" is often wrong.

You could ask why I do not throw myself into research- and the reason is quite simple- my own health would not tolerate the kind of fight I would have to put up to get the research funded.

Tracey037
07-26-11, 02:03 PM
This really scared me as well. My dad is 68 and was dx'd with Parkinsons and then Lewey Body dementia about 5 yes ago. I asked my mom if he had ADD...she said he was never hyper, but always procrastinated and disorganized. I'm just trying to stay in the present. I have enough with my ADHD, a soon to be 2 yr old, a seven yr old with ADHD, and working as a Full time registered nurse. Oh yeah, and I'm almost 42, lol!

Lunacie
07-26-11, 02:48 PM
My grandkids are screwed - which is what my sister thought even before we
knew about the hereditary link to ADHD and Autism and possibly Dementia and
Cancer. It was the Cancer that got her.

So my grandkids have that history as well as heart attacks on my side, and
their great-grandpa had a heart attack and dementia, their grandpa (my ex)
had heart attacks, and their father's genetics include Diabetes and Parkinson's.

It's like the deck is stacked against them, eh?

Kunga Dorji
07-26-11, 08:38 PM
OK - bear in mind that
1) this material presented here is a theory rather than proven science
2) and that given the longstanding conflict between the chiropractors and the doctors any research into it from the medical side is likely to be a long time coming
3) Given the fact that this research is not going to result in any profitable patents it is going to be difficult to find funding for it.
http://uprightdoctor.wordpress.com/2011/04/18/spondylosis-stenosis-cog-fog-and-dementia/

However this website here does present a very interesting theoretical association between some of the phenomenology of ADHD ( cognitive fog), the phenomenology of Alzheimer's and a possible linking mechanism.
It is worth bearing in mind also that one of my worst ADHD symptoms was cognitive fog.
It is also worth bearing in mind that the treatment of my neck problem greatly relieved that fog- and that the mindfulness training which has resulted (inter alia) of far greater mindfulness and maintenance of erect posture and better cerebral circulation (at least as far as is observable without radiology).
It is also worth observing that this neck problem is very common (greater than 80% of the population would be my best estimate [based on casual observations of posture of passers by in the street and systematic observations of patients seen in my office] though symptomatically variable from individual to individual).