Antidepressants could improve the physical recovery of people who have experienced a stroke, according to new findings, reducing the need for home care.
Research conducted at the University of Iowa found that patients who received a short course of antidepressants following a stroke enjoy a significantly improved recovery compared to those who were treated with a placebo.
While the association between antidepressants and stroke recovery has existed for a few years, senior author Robert Robinson said that this is the first study to show that the beneficial effect lasts and that the physical recovery continues to occur after the patient has stopped taking the medication.
Co-author Harold Adams predicted: "If future studies confirm our observation regarding the use of antidepressant medications as an ancillary therapy given to people with stroke, including those without depression, the public health impact could be huge."
Meanwhile, a new blood thinning drug known as Pradaxa has been found to significantly lessen the risk of stroke in patients with heart rhythm disorder atrial fibrillation, research has indicated.