Stroke patients that undergo hormone treatment, combined with rehabilitation, could experience improved functioning and reasoning.
A new Italian study found that patients perform better on functioning and reasoning tests after hormone treatment, opposed to those who receive rehabilitative therapy alone.
Researchers used the hormone relaxin to test its benefits for those who had experienced a stroke.
Relaxin is produced by the reproductive organs of both males and females, but only women have the circulating hormone in their blood.
Dr Mario Bigazzi, author of the study, explained: "We believe that the presence of relaxin in women's blood at each ovulation represents the still-undiscovered factor protecting them from cardiovascular diseases during the fertile span of life until the menopause."
During the trial, patients that received relaxin were observed as performing comparably to non-recipients twenty days after receiving treatment.
However, after 40 days, relaxin patients performed considerably better than those who did not receive the drug.
The discovery could prove key in improving the outcomes of stroke patients, in addition to reducing cardiovascular risk for groups vulnerable to stroke.
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