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Health Spotlight: Possible connection between Alzheimer’s and ADHD

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — More than 6 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s disease, and more than 6 million children have attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

Symptoms of ADHD include but aren’t limited to impulsivity, inability to focus, and forgetfulness. These symptoms are also commonly found in those with Alzheimer’s. A study from the University of Pittsburgh is looking to determine if there is a possible connection between the two.

“We found that, in fact, the people that have a higher genetic probability to have ADHD also have the pathology of Alzheimer’s in the brain,” Dr. Tharick Pascoal with the university said.

The study is the first to tie the genetic risk of ADHD to the chances of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.

By calculating each person’s ADHD polygenic risk score and matching it with that patient’s signs of Alzheimer’s, researchers were able to show that the higher the risk score, the greater chances of Alzheimer’s.

Researchers are also planning larger, more comprehensive studies, including more research to determine if interventions used to treat ADHD can influence the risk of Alzheimer’s disease in the future.

This story was created from a script aired on WISH-TV. Health Spotlight is presented by Community Health Network.