Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is said to affect around 7 percent of school aged children in the UK. It has been previously found that children often grow out of the behavioural disorder as they transcend their teenage years into adult hood. However, a new study has reported that there could be the same number of adults in their late 60’s suffering from the condition as children.
ADHD is a condition marked by excessive hyperactivity and an inability to maintain a focus on one task at a time above and beyond that of what would be expected in normal development.
According to a Dutch research team, contrary to popular belief, ADHD actually affects just as many individuals who are over the age of 60 as young children.
The research which was published in the British Journal of Psychiatry examined 231 Dutch adults aged between 60 to 94 years old.
The participants completed a questionnaire identifying if any of any of the older adults had symptoms of ADHD, it included for example, whether they were able to sit through a whole film without being distracted by other tasks of thoughts.
The researchers found that on average 2.8 percent of their entire sample showed distinct signs of ADHD, the prevalence of these symptoms declined with age. Around four percent of the adults aged 60 to 70 years old had symptoms of the behaviour condition this was compared to 2.1 percent of adults aged between 70 and 94.
It was concluded that there were a number of explanations; either symptoms do indeed improve with age, or the tests to pick up the symptoms are less accurate in older individuals, a final explanation could be that as you age you develop techniques to counteract the symptoms of ADHD, this could also explain why children appear to grow out of the condition.