Parkinson’s Disease and ADHD

oldtoyoungAre the two related? Does ADHD medication increase your risk?

A recent study from July 2018, published in The Michael J. Fox Foundation Fox Feed Blog conducted by Parkinson's Foundation found that the prevalence of Parkinson's disease is increasing. By 2030, it's estimated that 1.2 million Americans will be living with the disease.

Current research conducted by the University of Utah Health shows that there is a correlation between ADHD and Parkinson’s Disease.

"Parkinson's disease is commonly thought of as a neurodegenerative disease associated with aging," said Glen Hanson, D.D.S., Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology and School of Dentistry at U of U Health and senior author on the paper. "This may be the first time where a childhood disease and its treatment may be linked to a geriatric expression of neurodegenerative disorder."

Hanson’s team has found that individuals with ADHD are at an increased risk for Parkinson’s Disease as well as other similar disorders. Their research posted in Science Daily shows that individuals are twice as likely to develop early onset (21-66 years old) Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s like disease compared to non ADHD individuals of the same age and gender. Additionally, their research found that individuals on prescribed stimulant medications, including methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Daytrana, Metadate and Methylin), mixed amphetamine salts (Adderall) and dexmethylphenidate (Focalin) are at an even higher risk (6 to 8 times higher) than an ADHD individual not on medication. This is a staggering number and researchers are still trying to determine the exact pin point of the increased numbers and their correlation with the medication.

The good news is while researchers continue to conduct studies there are alternative methods out there for individuals with ADHD. These non-medical alternative methods include; cognitive training, behavioral shaping, mindfulness, and diet and exercise. However, looking at all these methods can be daunting, and you might not know where to start!

The great news is there is a program that incorporates ALL these methods plus some!

Play Attention is a program that integrates feedback technology, cognitive training and behavioral shaping in addition to mindfulness, parent support, diet and exercise guidance, unlimited support from a personal Executive Functions Coach; as well as a family management application to tie it all together. Play Attention is the only program available that uses all methods of learning to build cognitive skills and strengthen self-regulation and executive function. This is a program that can produce long-term positive changes in your life.