Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Antidepressant may result in improved cognitive function after stroke

Date:
February 2, 2010
Source:
JAMA and Archives Journals
Summary:
Patients who received the antidepressant escitalopram following a stroke appeared to recover more of their thinking, learning and memory skills than those taking placebo or participating in problem-solving therapy, according to a report.

Patients who received the antidepressant escitalopram following a stroke appeared to recover more of their thinking, learning and memory skills than those taking placebo or participating in problem-solving therapy, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Stroke remains a major health care problem and a significant cause of death and disability around the world, according to background information in the article. Significant recent advances in the treatment of stroke include the administration of clot-dissolving therapy, which needs to be administered within the first few hours after symptoms begin. "Consequently, besides the efforts currently undertaken to increase the number of patients treated with thrombolytic agents, there is growing interest in restorative therapies that can be administered during the first few months after stroke, the period within which we observe the greatest degree of spontaneous recovery of initial motor and cognitive deficits," the authors write.

One line of research has focused on antidepressants, which may be effective in part because of their ability to stimulate production of compounds essential for nerve cell growth. Ricardo E. Jorge, M.D., and colleagues at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, studied the effects of one antidepressant -- a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), escitalopram -- among 129 stroke patients. Within three months of their stroke, 43 patients were randomly assigned to take 5 to 10 milligrams of escitalopram daily, 45 to take a placebo daily and 41 to participate in a problem-solving therapy program developed for treating patients with depression.

After 12 weeks of treatment, patients taking escitalopram had higher scores on neuropsychological tests assessing overall cognitive (thinking, learning and memory) function and on those measuring verbal and visual memory. "Importantly, the reported changes in neuropsychological performance resulted in an improvement in related activities of daily living," the authors write.

"The beneficial effect of escitalopram on cognitive recovery was independent of its effect on depressive symptoms and was not influenced by stroke type or mechanism of ischemic stroke," they continue. "In addition, escitalopram was well tolerated and the frequency of adverse effects related to its administration was not different than that observed among patients receiving placebo."

Increasing evidence suggests that antidepressants cause changes in brain structure, including the visual cortex, hippocampus and cerebral cortex. These structural changes, although not yet proven to affect behavioral performance, may underlie the improvements in verbal and visual memory observed in this trial, the authors note. "Overall, whatever may be the mechanism of improved cognitive recovery, this study has shown, for the first time, that escitalopram, an SSRI, is associated with improved cognitive recovery following stroke compared with placebo and Problem-Solving Therapy," they conclude. "The utility of antidepressants in the process of post-stroke recovery deserves to be further investigated."

This work was supported solely by a grant from the National Institute of Mental Health.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by JAMA and Archives Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ricardo E. Jorge; Laura Acion; David Moser; Harold P. Adams, Jr; Robert G. Robinson. Escitalopram and Enhancement of Cognitive Recovery Following Stroke. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 2010; 67 (2): 187-196 [link]

Cite This Page:

JAMA and Archives Journals. "Antidepressant may result in improved cognitive function after stroke." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201171523.htm>.
JAMA and Archives Journals. (2010, February 2). Antidepressant may result in improved cognitive function after stroke. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201171523.htm
JAMA and Archives Journals. "Antidepressant may result in improved cognitive function after stroke." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100201171523.htm (accessed August 2, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Work Can Be Stressful, But Is Unemployment Worse?

Work Can Be Stressful, But Is Unemployment Worse?

Newsy (Aug. 1, 2014) A new study shows stress at work can be hard on your health, but people who are unemployed might be at even greater risk of health problems. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Google (Kind Of) Complies With 'Right To Be Forgotten Law'

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Google says it is following Europe's new "Right To Be Forgotten Law," which eliminates user information upon request, but only to a certain degree. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stroke Signs: Three Hour Deadline

Stroke Signs: Three Hour Deadline

Ivanhoe (July 31, 2014) Sometimes the signs of a stroke are far from easy to recognize. Learn from one young father’s story on the signs of a stroke. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Grain Brain May Be Harming Us

Grain Brain May Be Harming Us

Ivanhoe (July 31, 2014) Could eating carbohydrates be harmful to our brain health? Find out what one neurologist says about changing our diets. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins