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.

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Published in Journal of Aging Research, v. 2011, article ID 729801, p. 1-7.

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.

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