Clinical Presentation, Diagnosis and Treatment of Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Older Adults: A Review of the Evidence and its Implications for Clinical Care

David W. Goodman, Sara Mitchell, Lauren Rhodewalt, Craig B.H. Surman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Although previously considered a disorder of childhood, studies in the last decade have demonstrated that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) continues to impair function into adulthood and responds to pharmacotherapy. Due to age-specific changes in roles and challenges, it is possible that presentation and response to intervention may differ between older and younger adults. A literature search for papers that identified older adults with ADHD, including papers describing its epidemiology, manifestation, and treatment, was the basis for this paper. There is a paucity of data on ADHD in older adults; however, small observational studies have characterized the presence, impact, and treatment of ADHD in adults over the age of 50 years, and larger epidemiologic studies have demonstrated that ADHD symptoms exist in older adulthood. Optimal criteria for diagnosis of ADHD and methods of treating ADHD in older individuals have not been systematically explored. In light of the limited data, this review discusses considerations for differential diagnosis and safe pharmacotherapy of ADHD in older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-36
Number of pages10
JournalDrugs and Aging
Volume33
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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