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, 16 (12), 1371-1381

ADHD in Old Age: A Review of the Literature and Proposal for Assessment and Treatment


ADHD in Old Age: A Review of the Literature and Proposal for Assessment and Treatment

J J Sandra Kooij et al. Expert Rev Neurother.


ADHD is an often heritable, neurodevelopmental disorder with a prevalence of 4-5% in children and adults and about 3% in older adults. The disorder in older adults (> 55 years) is accompanied by similar comorbidities such as anxiety and depression, and social impairment as in younger age groups. Areas covered: An overview of the literature on diagnostic assessment, differential diagnosis, and treatment of older adults with ADHD is described. Case studies show that stimulant treatment is beneficial for ADHD in old age, but randomized controlled trials are lacking. Stimulant treatment has been studied in depression and even dementia in older adults, and seems safe with active cardiovascular risk management. In this paper, a proposal for diagnostic assessment and treatment is described for ADHD in older adults, including differential diagnosis with other psychiatric and neurocognitive disorders. Expert commentary: Regarding the organization of mental health, professionals in geriatric psychiatry need to be trained in assessment and treatment of ADHD in older age. Lifespan ADHD clinics may help patients of all ages to receive better specialized care.

Keywords: Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD); clinical experience; cognitive impairment; comorbidity; diagnostic assessment; differential diagnosis; older adults; review; treatment proposal.

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