Adult ADHD Often Precedes Certain Type of Dementia: Study

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 19 (HealthDay News) — Adults with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a more than threefold increased risk of developing a common form of degenerative dementia called dementia with lewy bodies (DLB), a new study says.

More than triples risk of developing degenerative brain disease, researchers say.

“Lewy bodies” — abnormal clumps of protein deposits that develop inside nerve cells and disrupt brain functioning — are found in people with Parkinson’s disease and some other neurological disorders.

Researchers in Argentina looked at 109 patients (average age 75) who had dementia with lewy bodies, 251 with Alzheimer’s disease and a control group of 149 healthy people (average age 74 in both the latter groups). They found that 48 percent of patients who had dementia with lewy bodies had previously suffered from adult ADHD, compared with 15 percent of those with Alzheimer’s and in the control group.

The study appears in the January issue of the European Journal of Neurology.

Dementia with lewy bodies “is thought to account for around 10 percent of dementia cases in older people, but it tends to be under-diagnosed because it shares some characteristics with both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s,” lead author Dr. Angel Golimstok said in a journal news release.

“It is a degenerative neurological condition that has a progressive and disabling effect on a person’s mental and physical skills,” Golimstok added. “Other symptoms can include recurrent and realistic visual hallucinations, fluctuations in the person’s everyday abilities and spontaneous movement problems similar to those observed in Parkinson’s.”

It’s believed that the same neurotransmitter pathway problems are involved in the development of ADHD and DLB, so Golimstok’s team wanted to test the theory that ADHD often precedes DLB.

“We believe that our study is the first of its kind to examine the clinical association between adult ADHD symptoms and DLB and that it has established a clear link between the two conditions,” Golimstok said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about dementia with Lewy bodies.

SOURCE: European Journal of Neurology, news release, Jan. 18, 2011

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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High Blood Pressure May Predict Dementia

A recent study published in the journal Archives of Neurology found that high blood pressure may predict dementia in older adults who have impaired executive function – difficulty organizing thoughts and making decisions – but not for those with memory problems.

The study included 990 dementia-free participants, average age 83, who were followed for five years. During that time, dementia developed in 59.5 percent of those with and in 64.2 percent of those without high blood pressure. Similar rates were seen in participants with memory dysfunction alone and with both memory and executive dysfunction.

However, among those with executive dysfunction alone, the rate of dementia development was 57.7 percent among those with high blood pressure compared to 28 percent for those without high blood pressure, which is also called hypertension.

“We show herein that the presence of hypertension predicts progression to dementia in a subgroup of about one-third of subjects with cognitive impairment, no dementia,” wrote the researchers at the University of Western Ontario in Canada. “Control of hypertension in this population could decrease by one-half the projected 50-percent five-year rate of progression to dementia.”

The study author noted, the findings may prove important for elderly people with cognitive impairment but no dementia.


5 Steps to Reduce Dementia Naturally

Dementia is a decline of reasoning, memory, and other mental abilities (the cognitive functions). This decline eventually impairs the ability to carry out everyday activities such as driving; household chores; and even personal care such as bathing, dressing, and feeding (often called activities of daily living, or ADLs).

Dementia has many different causes, some of which are difficult to tell apart. Many medical conditions can cause dementia symptoms, especially in older people.

Following is 5 steps to reduce dementia:

Step 1

Get more omega-3 into your diet. Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in cognitive function. Your brain is made up of 60% fats. You’ll find that the brain is made up of 25-30% of DHA fats. DHA found in omega-3, are fats your brain requires. DHA can play a role in improving memory, along with protecting your brain. DHA will prevent Alzheimer’s and dementia. Fish oils contain the highest amount of omega-3.

Step 2

Exercise your brain. Just exercising alone, like running, jogging for example, can increase oxygen to your brain. Work out your brain. Do crossword puzzles, that provides activity that your brain needs. Read and learn a lot. Do activities that for your brain to be active.

Step 3

Get more minerals and vitamins into your diet. Not just dieting, but avoid smoking and drinking. Smoking reduces oxygen to your brain. Alcohol kills brain cells. It kills quite a few of them. You want to eliminate both, or drink alcohol moderately. Getting vitamin E into your diet can contribute to slowing down free radicals in the body. Green tea helps get rid of free radicals as well. A lot of minerals, like iron, potassium, magnesium contribute to supporting brain health. Vitamins and minerals contribute to reducing your risk of dementia. Vitamin supplements are recommended. Specifically vitamin C and E contribute to reducing dementia risks.

Step 4

Avoid stress in your life. Stress effects you mentally. It takes a lot out of you physically and mentally. Stress can be avoided by removing yourself from stressful situations. Stress, anxiety, and depression increase dementia risks. Actually a lot of what you eat can contribute to your mood. Omega-3, green tea, chamomile tea, and gingko can all help reduce aggressive behavior and help reduces depression.

Step 5

Find love and peace in the world. That might sound cliche, but happiness can contribute to better health. Why not put all your worries aside, and find something beautiful and meaningful in your life? There really isn’t much of a reason to be unhappy in life. Most problems are expanded by our exaggerations, where we make them bigger than what they are. Did you ever ask yourself why you are unhappy? You might find there really isn’t as many reasons as you think. Maybe you’ve never really reached out and grabbed the things you’ve really wanted in life. That explains why you’re not enjoying life more. You can have everything you want, just reach out and grab it.

Mental health problems come as we age. It’s a part of life. Bringing more positive energy, love, and peace into your life will help protect your cognitive health. When your mind starts to slip, so does your life.