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Parkinson's drug 'could help stroke patients'

Parkinson's drug 'could help stroke patients'
15th October 2009

People who have been hit by the effects of a stroke may be helped on the path to recovery by a new drug which is widely associated with patients who have Parkinson's disease.

The claim follows a study from Leeds University which discovered that the L-dopa drug could allow for physiotherapy and occupational therapy given to individuals who have been restricted in their movements by a debilitating attack.

Professor Bipin Bhatka, the head of rehabilitation medicine at the Leeds Institute of Molecular Medicine and the lead author of the study, explained that the drug works by increasing activity in certain nerve pathways which are harnessed by the brain when learning new movement skills.

He continued: "If an existing and inexpensive drug can help augment the effects of conventional rehabilitation treatments this represents a major step forward in improving stroke recovery."

It could create hope for many people, with the Stroke Association estimating that 150,000 people in the UK have a stroke every year.

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