Effects of methylphenidate on cognitive function and gait in patients with Parkinson's disease: a pilot study

Clin Neuropharmacol. 2006 Jan-Feb;29(1):15-7. doi: 10.1097/00002826-200601000-00005.


Twenty-one patients with Parkinson's disease were studied before and 2 h after the administration of a single dose of 20 mg of methylphenidate. In response to methylphenidate, attention significantly improved, whereas memory and visual-spatial performance were unchanged. Gait speed, stride time variability, and Timed Up and Go times (demonstrated measures of fall risk) significantly improved. These findings suggest a new potential pharmacologic means of enhancing mobility and decreasing fall risk in Parkinson's disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Attention / drug effects
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage*
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Gait / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Methylphenidate / administration & dosage*
  • Motor Activity / drug effects
  • Neuropsychological Tests / statistics & numerical data
  • Parkinson Disease / drug therapy*
  • Parkinson Disease / physiopathology*
  • Pilot Projects
  • Problem Solving / drug effects
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Methylphenidate