What is it about?

Our study delves into the relationship between opioid use disorder (OUD) and the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. By analyzing health records over two decades, we discovered that individuals with OUD are significantly more likely to develop dementia, with risks increasing over time. Notably, younger individuals under 65 with OUD show a higher likelihood of developing these cognitive conditions compared to their older counterparts. These findings underscore the need for early cognitive health screenings in younger populations with OUD, aiming for timely intervention and support.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Our study is the first of its kind to illuminate the heightened risk of Alzheimer's and dementia in younger adults with opioid use disorder—a group traditionally overlooked in dementia research. This groundbreaking discovery not only challenges existing beliefs about the age-related nature of cognitive decline but also opens new avenues for early detection and intervention strategies. As the opioid crisis continues to intersect with an aging population, our findings provide timely evidence that could transform healthcare policies and improve the lives of millions at risk.


Contributing to this publication has been profoundly meaningful to me. The intersection of opioid use disorder and dementia, particularly among younger adults, is a topic that has received scant attention yet has far-reaching implications. My journey through the research was driven by a commitment to uncover hidden correlations that could inform better clinical practices and policy-making. Working alongside a dedicated team to shed light on this issue has been both challenging and rewarding. It's my hope that our findings catalyze a shift in how we approach early detection and treatment of dementia, bringing a sense of urgency to the support of those with OUD. This paper is more than just an academic exercise; it's a call to action for early intervention that could have a real impact on public health.

Fares Qeadan
Loyola University Chicago

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Exploring the Association Between Opioid Use Disorder and Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Among a National Sample of the U.S. Population, Journal of Alzheimer s Disease, October 2023, IOS Press,
DOI: 10.3233/jad-230714.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page