DETROIT (WWJ) – Could a pill help patients with dementia avoid a fall?

WWJ Health Reporter Dr. Deanna Lites reports they’re working on it at the University of Michigan.

As you get older it’s harder to process information when dual-tasking like walking and talking , which can lead to falls, and doctors say older people with dementia are at even greater risk for a life-threatening fall.

To reduce that risk, U-M researchers are testing a pill called Intepirdine on patients with dementia who already take the drug Aricept.

Dr. Nicolaas Bohnen explains the two drugs taken together appear to boost chemicals in the brain to help patients pay attention, making them less likely to fall.

“The people who are taking the medication, compared to a placebo, that the falls are caused much, much lower; about 60 percent lower,” Bohnen said.

Researchers are looking for patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia with Lewy bodies, or Parkinson’s disease who tend to fall to take part in the study.

To learn more about enrollment in the trial is, call Bohnen’s clinic at 734-998-8400.

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