Navigation Links
Antidepressants Improve Post-Stroke Mental Abilities

Antidepressant treatment appears to help stroke survivors with the kind of complex mental abilities often referred to as "thinking outside the box," according// to a University of Iowa study.

The antidepressants' effects on study participants' abilities were independent of any changes in depression. In addition, the improvements in complex mental abilities were not seen immediately but during the course of 21 months after the treatment ended. The study results appear in the March 2007 issue of the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Antidepressant treatment already was known to improve mood in depressed post-stroke patients, but such therapy had not been examined on executive function in people with clinically diagnosed stroke, said Sergio Paradiso, M.D., Ph.D., the study's corresponding author and assistant professor of psychiatry at the UI Carver College of Medicine.

"We found that people diagnosed with stroke who often have a decline in 'executive function', that is, those mental abilities that enable us to respond appropriately to unfamiliar or complex situations, and support several cognitive, emotional and social capacities, showed improvement after receiving a 12-week treatment with antidepressants," Paradiso said.

Executive functions come into play, for instance, when we plan to take an alternative route home due to unexpected detours. This brain function involves stopping ingrained behavior, such as trying to take your usual route home. People with stroke often show impairments in executive function and may not be able to respond well to non-routine situations. This impairment may affect rehabilitation efforts.

The UI team included Kenji Narushima, M.D, Ph.D., UI resident physician in psychiatry, who contributed significantly to the study.

The study began with 47 patients who had had a stroke during the previous six months. These individuals were divided into three groups and randomly as signed (with the exception of those with certain medical conditions) to take the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac), the antidepressant nortriptyline (Aventyl or Pamelor) or a placebo (inactive substance).

Their executive functions were assessed using standard neuropsychological tasks at the end of 12 weeks of treatment, and again two years after the study had started. A total of 36 patients completed all the evaluations.

No significant differences were found between the antidepressant and placebo groups at the end of treatment. However, 21 months after the treatment ended, the placebo group showed continued worsening of the executive functions, whereas the group treated with antidepressants had clear and significant improvement, regardless of how their depressive symptoms changed.

"We were somewhat surprised to initially not find any difference after the first 12 weeks of treatment. It took another 21 months after the initial treatments for the antidepressants to have a detectable effect," Paradiso said.

The investigators hypothesize that antidepressants may foster recovery of neural tissue not directly destroyed by the stroke, yet because the process is slow, it takes months.

"Drugs such as antibiotics start working right away to kill germs. However, antidepressants may be reorganizing brain structure and re-establishing neuronal connections that were lost because of the death of neurons due to the stroke," Paradiso said. "We expect this regeneration to happen in longer, rather than brief, periods of time.

"We really appreciate the patients who made the commitment to participate in this two-year-long study while they were in their post-stroke recovery. The information we've learned will help us develop new studies," he added.

The researchers plan to examine individuals who responded favorably to the antidepressants and look noninvasively for brain changes.

"We can do fu nctional and structural brain imaging studies using different technologies, including relatively new techniques that quantify chemicals in the brain," Paradiso said.


Related medicine news :

1. Antidepressants come in handy for patients on treatment for hepatitis, cancers and multiple sclerosis
2. Antidepressants increase gastric bleeding
3. Antidepressants-important role
4. Antidepressants increase gastric bleeding
5. Antidepressants could pose grave implications
6. Antidepressants May Benefit Heart Patients
7. Antidepressants Harmful for Kids
8. Antidepressants For Children: How safe is it ?
9. Antidepressants Late In Pregnancy Harmful to Unborn Baby
10. Antidepressants Could Lead To Abnormal Bleeding
11. Young Patients On Antidepressants Found To Be Associated With Suicidal Tendencies
Post Your Comments:

(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... has focused on providing comprehensive solutions involving adult stem cell therapies to patients ... officially deemed the “Regenestem” name as a Registered Trademark (RTM). , Organizations are ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... 25, 2015 , ... Bunion Bootie , the newest ... of the early holiday shopping season. Starting Wednesday November 25th, Bunion Booties are ... Friday promotional pricing is in addition to any automatic discounts applied when buying ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Eric C. Seidel, ... many benefits of the revolutionary BIOLASE WaterLase iPlus 2.0™ system. This advanced laser ... used by a dentist in Gettysburg, PA . From routine visits to ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... , ... New patients who wish to seek treatment for missing teeth can ... her Mississauga, ON practice. Dr. Williams has been providing dental service for over 34 ... Missing teeth can lead to a variety of complications if they are not replaced ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... ... Charitable giving is at its peak during the holidays. In fact, ... the year totalling over $358 billion in 2014. With more than 1.5 million ... individuals who want to “give back” during the holidays. , “With so many charities ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) ... - Global Forecast to 2020" report to their ... for 37.21% of the total market share in 2014. ... region is projected to growth at the highest CAGR ... primarily to the fast growing water, industrial gas treatment, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 25, 2015 WuXi PharmaTech (Cayman) Inc. ("WuXi" ... open-access R&D capability and technology platform company serving the ... China and the ... extraordinary general meeting of shareholders held today, the Company,s ... and approve the previously announced agreement and plan of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... N.C. , Nov. 24, 2015  In the ... projects in an effort to quickly uncover new insights, ... --> --> However, ... a market research project and ensure that all rules ... and industry standards. Another major barrier to efficiently launching ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: