Brain health questions: Is there a connection between ADHD & Alzheimer’s?

Our webinar with Dr. Bruce Price on July 27 sparked some interesting questions on brain health from our participants. Since Dr. Price wasn’t able to answer all of them during the webinar, we thought we’d tackle some common ones here. These answers come from Dr. Haythum Tayeb, a behavioral neurology and neuropsychiatry fellow in Dr. Price’s department of neurology at McLean Hospital.

Q. Is there a connection between ADHD & Alzheimer’s?

A. There is no known direct connection between Alzheimer’s and childhood ADHD. There have been recent early reports of an association between adult ADHD and risk of Alzheimer’s, though this association needs to be confirmed. It may be that the symptoms of early dementia, often subtle, can be mistakenly attributed to adulthood ADHD in people with a previous history of the disorder. A potential explanation for the association, should it be proven, is that ADHD may lead to a lower cognitive reserve to buffer insults later in life, or that there could be an unidentified overlap between the genetic and environmental factors causing both disorders.

The information provided here is intended for educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

2 Comment

  1. Nia says:

    Please forward a full copy of Brain health questions: Is there a connection between ADHD & Alzheimer’s

  2. ron says:

    Sleeping less is the second most common symptom of ADD, the first being attention deficient. Adults that don’t need sleep may have undiagnosed ADD. Amyloid beta is produced more in the wake cycle and less in the sleep cycle. Amyloid beta forms the brain plaque in AD patients. It is not known if the palque causes AD or if the palque is a defense, slowing down the onset of AD. There is evidence that reduced sleep increases the probability of AD.

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