Posted on 12/12/2012

Could Anti-Depressants Help Stroke Recovery?

Could Anti-Depressants Help Stroke Recovery?

What is a stroke and how could anti-depressants help?

Many of our customers at Nottingham Rehab Supplies are survivors of a stroke. According to the Stroke Association, a drop in death rates means that there are now over a million people living in the UK who have survived a stroke and are now having to cope with the many debilitating after effects.

Strokes block the blood flow to the brain and can cause a huge range of problems, from weakness down one side to complete loss of use of the arms or legs. Strokes can also affect brain functions such as speech and cognitive reasoning, leaving patients confused or struggling to communicate. In many cases, the brain can show a remarkable capacity for recovery over time, rewiring itself to bypass or replace the damaged areas, although the process is not fully understood.

One ray of hope, however, could come in the unlikely form of anti-depressants. Research presented at the recent UK Stroke Forum analysed 52 different studies and found that anti-depressants could reduce disability, and dependence on care, in around one in twenty patients.

What do the experts say about strokes?

Gillian Mead, Professor of Stroke and Elderly Care Medicine at Edinburgh University was cautiously optimistic about the findings: “The drugs act on the brain and may be able to help nerve cells to change function or lead to the growth of new nerve cells,” she said. “However, the findings do not support routine use of anti-depressants yet and much more research is needed.”

Any progress on stroke recovery would be welcomed by patients who depend on mobility aids, such as the bath lifts, wheelchairs, ramps and scooters available at Nottingham Rehab Supplies. However, until such time as these treatments have been properly researched and tested, NRS will continue to be your first call for all your mobility and disability supplies.

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