ADHD Drug May Prevent Falls in Seniors

Falls are a leading cause of hospitalization among older adults and with a growing senior population, researchers are investigating means to prevent falls which increase disability and dependence among the elderly.

Research from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel has found that elderly people prescribed an attention-enhancing drug, such at Ritalin, improved their performance on falls screening tests.  The study was conducted on 30 healthy seniors with no signs of dementia.

Participants, aged 74 on average, were either given a single 10 mg dose of methylphenidate or a placebo and then were asked to perform a series of tests to evaluate fall risk.  Those who received the drug performed significantly better than seniors who were given the placebo.

Control over gait and balance while walking can deteriorate with age, contributing to falls.  Researchers have found that methylphenidate (MPH) may not only improve attention but could also have an affect on areas of the brain that control motor skills and balance.

To learn more about the research visit the American Associates Ben-Gurion University of the Negev website at: