Acetaminophen May Make Dementia Patients More Friendly

Susan Farley
Published Online: Wednesday, February 1, 2006

A small study from St. Louis University shows that acetaminophen may aid nursing home residents who suffer from moderate-to-severe dementia. Over an 8-week period, researchers observed 25 nursing home patients with dementia. In the first 4 weeks, these patients were administered acetaminophen in addition to their regular psychotropic medications, and for the following 4 weeks they were given a placebo. While taking the acetaminophen, the study patients were more active than the other nursing home residents and spent less time in their rooms and more time with other people. John Chibnall, PhD, psychiatry professor and lead author of the study, remarked, "The assumption is that people with dementia do not feel pain because they're demented. Actually, they do feel it; they just cannot tell you about it."

Ms. Farley is a freelance medical writer based in Wakefield, RI.

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