The fluoxetine for motor recovery after acute ischemic stroke study was a double blind, placebo-controlled trial examining the effects of fluoxetine in patients five- to 10 days after an ischemic stroke. The study found motor improvement to 90 days poststroke, measured as the change in the Fugl-Meyer score, was significantly greater in the fluoxetine group as compared with the placebo group, and that this finding was significant after adjusting for depression. Patients randomized to fluoxetine also had less disability (modified Rankin Scale 0-2). The study adds to the weight of data suggesting that viable strategies exist to improve patient outcomes by initiating a restorative agent, days after stroke injury is fixed. Stroke remains among the leading causes of human disability. Currently, a minority of patients can access approved reperfusion therapies, and among those so treated a substantial fraction derives limited benefit. Therapies that target restorative events have a time window measured in days-weeks and so hold the potential to help many patients with stroke.
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