Prozac May Speed Physical Rehabilitation After Stroke – Why?

Fluoxetine (Prozac), an SSRI

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Why Prozac May Speed Physical Rehabilitation After Stroke
Dr. Francois Chollet and his team from University Hospital of Toulouse and INSERM report on their research to assess the effect of a daily treatment with Prozac (fluoxetin 20 mg) on motor performance in patients with mild to severe motor deficit after ischemic stroke.

The team found that after three months of follow-up, patients taking generic Prozac had improved their Fugl-Meyer Motor Scale score compared to controls.

Is the reason for this the effect of Prozac on neurotransmitters in the brain, with a possible mechanism of action being that Prozac increases neuronal excitability and this increase in excitability is linked to increased plasticity? Alternatively is the explanation more obvious!!! Patients given anti depressants undertake more intensive early physiotherapy and occupational therapy because they are less depressed. It has been proven in controlled clinical trials that intensive and early intervention with physical therapy is associated with better recovery outcomes. Therefore the effect that was seen may be due not to a central biochemistry mechanism of action but instead due to the antidepressant effect with the Prozac treated group being in a better condition to practice physical and occupational therapy in a more intensive and early fashion after stroke onset.


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