The Brain Connection: ADHD and the Risk for Alzheimer’s Disease

Imagine your brain is like a super cool, high-speed computer. It helps you think, play, and learn every day. Some people have a brain that works super fast all the time, like it’s got too many apps open at once. This is what happens when someone has ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Now, there’s a question scientists are trying to answer: Does having ADHD mean you might be more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease when you get older? Let’s explore this together!


What is ADHD?

ADHD is when your brain has a tough time paying attention, staying still, or not acting on impulse (like blurting out answers or having a hard time waiting your turn). It’s not about being naughty or not trying hard enough; it’s just how some brains work.


What is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is something that usually happens to older people. It’s like their brain starts to forget things, even really important things, like who their family members are. It can make doing everyday stuff really hard.


The Big Question: Is There a Connection?

Scientists have been super curious to see if having ADHD when you’re young means you might have a higher chance of getting Alzheimer’s when you’re older. Here’s what they found:

  • Family Ties: Some studies show that if you have ADHD, there might be a higher chance of someone in your family having Alzheimer’s. It’s like if having blue eyes runs in your family.
  • Brain Paths: Both ADHD and Alzheimer’s have to do with how certain paths in your brain work. With ADHD, your brain might take detours and speedy shortcuts. With Alzheimer’s, it’s like some paths start to disappear.
  • Remember, Not a Sure Thing: Just because you or someone you know has ADHD doesn’t mean Alzheimer’s is definitely in the future. Scientists are still learning a lot about both.

What Can You Do?

Knowing all this might sound a bit scary, but there’s good news! There are things you can do to help keep your brain super healthy, no matter how old you are or whether you have ADHD:

  • Stay Active: Running, jumping, and playing sports are great for your brain.
  • Eat Healthy Foods: Foods like fruits, vegetables, and fish are brain power foods.
  • Challenge Your Brain: Learning new things, playing puzzle games, and reading can keep your brain sharp.
  • Get Plenty of Sleep: Sleep is like a charger for your brain. Make sure to get enough!

The Bottom Line

Having ADHD doesn’t mean you’ll definitely have problems with your memory when you get older. Scientists are still figuring out all the ways our brains are connected. The most important thing is to take care of your brain every day. Just like you brush your teeth to keep them healthy, there are things you can do to keep your brain healthy, too. And remember, if you ever have questions about your brain or how you’re feeling, talking to a grown-up or a doctor is a great idea!

For more information on forgetfulness, visit our Forgetfulness resource page.

Idaho Brain & Body is here to help, request a discovery call today.