Antidepressants To Help Stroke Recovery

This is something that has been mentioned a few times of late. Although the study sizes are small and speculation still surrounds the mechanism of exactly how the antidepressants help the physical recovery of stroke. However, the improvements in physical disability show promising results.

While this is all well and good, it also  must be noted that you must be doing adequate stroke rehabilitation in the first place. This assumes you are consistent with your rehab, performing the correct exercises and being specific with your application.

Recuperating stroke patients treated with a short duration of antidepressants showed greater improvement in physical rehabilitation than stroke sufferers receiving a placebo, new investigation finds.

What’s more, the physical healing of the group taking antidepressants continued 9 months after the medication had been discontinued.

Researchers with the University of Iowa gave 54 patients antidepressants while twenty nine patients were given a placebo.

Every group took the pills for 3 months. Using the Rankin Scale, which measures general physical plus motor disability, scientists found that the group getting antidepressants encountered significant decrease in physical impairment over a one-year period of time. Individuals getting the placebo improved initially however their improvement leveled off.

Stroke experts say that existing stroke treatments concentrate on reestablishing blood circulation towards the brain rigtht after an acute ischemic attack. Frequently, however, those individuals miss the brief, post-stroke time frame for effective treatment.

“Early administration of an adjunctive medication, an antidepressant, might have an effect on improving outcomes independent of the medication’s actions on mood,” said the study’s co-author Harold Adams, M.D. The study was published online in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry.

Other studies also suggest that the antidepressant medication is doing something separate from treating depression that increases physical recovery from stroke.

Senior study author, Robert Robinson, M.D., notes that even though mechanisms underpinning the effect aren’t yet known there’s evidence that antidepressants could inhibit a type of inflammatory protein that’s released inside the brain during stroke, and may promote development of new cells in specific parts of the brain.

This article is presented purely for interest sake and is not medical advice or suggesting you start taking antidepressants. Please consult your primary physician before doing anything like that.