Addiction, ADHD linked to longer life - study

Scientists have found a link between ADHD and longevity.Photo / Thinkstock
Scientists have found a link between ADHD and longevity.Photo / Thinkstock

People who suffer from addiction problems and ADHD are more likely to live to 100 and longer, new research suggests.

A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience abstract looked at the relationship between the DRD4 gene and longevity.

The DRD4 gene, which is linked to both ADHD and addiction, was found to be 66 per cent more common in people who lived to be 90 years or older, Medical Daily reported.

Responsible for coding a receptor of the brain chemical dopamine, the gene means that the response to the dopamine system, which prompts feelings of pleasure and reward, is lower.

This gene can ultimately lead to a pursuit of this pleasure, often leading to addiction and the behaviour common in people with ADHD, according to Time.

Yet should people with these afflictions live past the risky younger years, there could well be benefits in older age.

The study looked at 1000 people between the ages of 90 and 109 living in the Leisure World retirement community in Laguna Woods, California.

Research found that the DRD4 gene was more common in the oldest participants, and those with the gene were more active than those who lacked it.

As the gene carriers were more likely to seek "arousal", they were also more likely to engage in physical activity.

A second experiment on the dopamine gene was also carried out on rats.

The rodents which were modified to lack the gene were found to live seven to 10 per cent shorter lives than their gene-carrying counterparts.

- www.nzherald.co.nz

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