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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011, Article ID 729801, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.4061/2011/729801
Research Article

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Childhood Is Associated with Cognitive Test Profiles in the Geriatric Population but Not with Mild Cognitive Impairment or Alzheimer's Disease

1Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and the University of Kentucky Alzheimer's Disease Center, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536, USA
2Department of Psychiatry, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40509, USA
3Department of Neurology, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY 40536, USA

Received 5 January 2011; Revised 12 May 2011; Accepted 2 June 2011

Academic Editor: Darlene V. Howard

Copyright © 2011 N. Ivanchak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The frequency of ADHD in the aging population and its relationship to late-life cognitive decline has not been studied previously. To address this gap in our understanding, the Wender-Utah ADHD Rating scale (WURS) was administered to 310 geriatric subjects with cognitive status ranging from normal cognition to mild cognitive impairment to overt dementia. The frequency of WURS-positive ADHD in this sample was 4.4%. WURS scores were not related to cognitive diagnoses, but did show nonlinear associations with tasks requiring sustained attention. The frequency of ADHD appears stable across generations and does not appear to be associated with MCI or dementia diagnoses. The association of attentional processing deficits and WURS scores in geriatric subjects could suggest that such traits remain stable throughout life. Caution should be considered when interpreting cognitive test profiles in the aging population that exhibit signs and symptoms of ADHD, as attentional deficits may not necessarily imply the existence of an underlying neurodegenerative disease state.