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No lower cognitive functioning in older adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder

  • E. J. Semeijn (a1) (a2), N. C. M. Korten (a3), H. C. Comijs (a1), M. Michielsen (a1) (a2), D. J. H. Deeg (a1) (a3), A. T. F. Beekman (a1) and J. J. S. Kooij (a2)...



Research illustrates cognitive deficits in children and younger adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Few studies have focused on the cognitive functioning in older adults. This study investigates the association between ADHD and cognitive functioning in older adults.


Data were collected in a cross-sectional side study of the Longitudinal Aging Study Amsterdam (LASA). A diagnostic interview to diagnose ADHD was administered among a subsample (N = 231, age 60–94). ADHD symptoms and diagnosis were assessed with the Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in Adults (DIVA) 2.0. Cognitive functioning was assessed with tests in the domains of executive functioning, information processing speed, memory, and attention/working memory.


Regression analyses indicate that ADHD diagnosis and ADHD severity were only negatively associated with cognitive functioning in the attention/working memory domain. When adjusting for depression, these associations were no longer significant.


The study shows that ADHD in older adults is associated with lower cognitive functioning in the attention/working memory domain. However, this was partly explained by depressive symptoms.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: Evert Semeijn, VU University Medical Centre Amsterdam, LASA, Van der Boechorststraat 7, 1081BT Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Phone: +31 20 444 6770; Fax: +31 20 444 6775. Email:


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International Psychogeriatrics
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