Study Suggests Antidepressants Aid Physical Recovery in Stroke

University of Iowa

A University of Iowa study finds that patients treated with a short course of antidepressants after a stroke have significantly greater improvement in physical recovery than patients treated with a placebo. Moreover, the study is the first to demonstrate that this physical recovery continues to improve for at least nine months after the antidepressant medication is stopped.

"The idea that antidepressants might benefit early recovery from stroke has been around for a couple of years," said Robert Robinson, M.D., UI professor and head of psychiatry and senior study author. "But one major question left unanswered by previous studies was 'does the effect last after the medication stops?'

"What our study demonstrates is that not only does the beneficial effect last, but the improvement in physical recovery continues to increase even after the patients stop taking the medication."

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National Stroke Association’s mission is to reduce the incidence and impact of stroke by developing compelling education and programs focused on prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and support for all impacted by stroke.