ADHD And Walking Tall

In a small study that was published in the Journals of Gerentology, researchers in Israel gave a 10mg dose of the drug methylphenidate (Ritalin) to fifteen healthy adults, 70 and older who could walk without assistance. They compared this group to 15 others given a placebo. The dosed group showed improved gait and function while performing single tasks (i.e. walking) and when performing dual tasks (i.e. walking and reciting the days of the week in reverse).

The drug’s ability to enhance mental focus (it is often given to help those with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is suspected of also impacting the area of the brain that controls balance and motor skills.

Methylphenidate does have some documented addiction issues and it is not currently recommended for adults 65 and older nor is it for those having cardiac conditions. However the results of this initial work will hopefully result in larger clinical studies that may verify the findings and help to create a safe therapeutic regimen that can reduce the incidence of falls.

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