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April 2010, Volume 40 Number 4 , p 17 - 17



A recent study indicates that patients treated early after a stroke with the antidepressant escitalopram may experience more improvement in cognitive function and activities of daily living. The improvement occurred regardless of whether the patients taking escitalopram were depressed.Researchers studied 129 patients, age 50 to 90, who'd experienced a mild or moderate stroke within the previous 3 months. None of the patients had a depressive disorder at the time of their stroke. Forty-five patients received a placebo, 41 underwent problem-solving therapy (PST, an intervention for treating depression), and 43 received escitalopram (10 mg daily for those below age 65; 5 mg daily for those age 65 and older). After 1 year of treatment, the patients receiving escitalopram showed improvement in global cognitive functioning, especially verbal and visual memory, compared with those who received the placebo or underwent PST.The researchers suggest that antidepressant use in the process of poststroke

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