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Exercise may help stroke recovery

25th April 2006

Researchers in the US believe that exercise may help people recover from a stroke, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

Scientists from the University of Texas claim that tests on rats have shown that those that were forced to exercise showed significantly better gains and less lasting damage following an induced stroke than their inactive counterparts.

The research, headed by the university's associate professor of neurosurgery Yuchan Ding, found that exercise helped new blood vessels form in the brain, which is thought to reduce the impact of the shortage of oxygen that occurs during a stroke.

It is also believed that the rats produced greater quantities of the erythropoietin factor chemical, which is thought to encourage the growth of red blood cells.

The rats ran at a moderate pace on a treadmill or running wheel five times a week for thirty minutes.

If the results translate to humans, stroke patients may have to invest in a new pair of running shoes.