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Common dementia drug found to improve Parkinson’s symptoms

Credit: John Stillwell/PA

Scientists in Bristol have discovered that a commonly prescribed dementia drug could hold the key to helping prevent debilitating falls for people with Parkinson’s disease.

The research, shows people with Parkinson’s who were given the oral drug rivastigmine were 45% less likely to fall and were considerably steadier when walking, compared to those on the placebo.

127,000
people with Parkinson’s in the UK
70%
of people with Parkinson’s will fall at least once a year

Dr Emily Henderson, the principal researcher on the study says the discovery takes us a step closer to improving the quality of life and finding better treatments for people with Parkinson’s.

We already know rivastigmine works to treat dementia by preventing the breakdown of acetylcholine. However, our study shows for the first time that it can also improve regularity of walking, speed, and balance. This is a real breakthrough in reducing the risk of falls for people with Parkinson’s.

– Dr Emily Henderson
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