Ritalin & Elderly Falls
The September 2013 issue of Nurse.com Magazine cited a recent study released by Ben Gurion University. This study stated that “researchers have discovered that a single dose of Ritalin (methylphenidate or MPH), used to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and narcolepsy, helps to improve balance control during walking, hence reducing the risk of falls among elderly adults”. They posit that the results may in part be due to the improved attention brought about by the medication. However, they also say that Ritalin actually has “a direct influence on areas of the brain that deal with motor and balance control” (Ben Gurion University). This is encouraging to our senior population for whom falls are the leading cause of injuries. These falls result in emergency hospital admissions and accidental deaths.