Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Drugs promote growth of brain cells, claims study
Study: Antidepressants may help stroke patients by promoting the growth of brain cells
Widely used antidepressants may reduce the brain damage suffered by stroke patients and 'dramatically improve' their recovery, say researchers.
A study suggests taking the drugs immediately following a stroke may promote the growth of brain cells.
The U.S. research was carried out in mice but scientists say the effects may be found in humans, and have called for clinical trials.
The study compared stroke size and recovery in mice which were genetically altered and treated - prior to a stroke - to either grow or not grow new brain cells.
In the animals programmed not to grow new brain cells, strokes were about 30 per cent larger, despite treatment with the drugs.
But in those animals which had the genetic capacity to respond to the drugs, there was 'dramatic improvement' in motor function after the stroke.
A range of antidepressants was used as well as mood stabilisers such as lithium, according to a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
But lead researcher Dr David Greenberg, of the Buck Institute for Age Research, in California, warned stroke patients not to treat themselves with prescription drugs because of potential side effects.
'These drugs need to be tested in a controlled clinical setting,' he said.
at 4/20/2010 11:51:00 AM