A small study from St. Louis Universityshows that acetaminophen may aidnursing home residents who suffer frommoderate-to-severe dementia. Over an8-week period, researchers observed 25nursing home patients with dementia.In the first 4 weeks, these patients wereadministered acetaminophen in additionto their regular psychotropic medications,and for the following 4 weeksthey were given a placebo. While takingthe acetaminophen, the study patientswere more active than the other nursinghome residents and spent less timein their rooms and more time with otherpeople. John Chibnall, PhD, psychiatryprofessor and lead author of the study,remarked, "The assumption is that peoplewith dementia do not feel painbecause they're demented. Actually,they do feel it; they just cannot tell youabout it."
Ms. Farley is a freelance medicalwriter based in Wakefield, RI.