Article: article from journal or magazin.
Frequency and determinants of using pharmacological enhancement in the clinical practice of in-hospital stroke rehabilitation.
Publication types: Journal ArticlePublication Status: ppublish
Background: Pharmacological enhancement in stroke rehabilitation (PESR) is promising. Data about its use in clinical practice are missing. Methods: In a prospective, explorative study of four rehabilitation centers, we systematically observed the frequency and determinants of using PESR in consecutive patients. PESR was defined as using agents potentially enhancing post-stroke recovery exclusively to aid rehabilitation without an established indication. Results: 257 (55.4%) of 464 patients had agents potentially enhancing recovery. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) (n = 125, 26.9%), levodopa (n = 114, 24.6%), serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRI) (n = 52, 11.2%), and acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (n = 48, 10.3%) were used most often. SSRI in 102/125 patients and SNRI in 46/52 patients were mostly used for accompanying depressive symptoms. 159 (34.3%) patients had PESR (without an otherwise established indication). In PESR patients, levodopa (n = 102, 64.1%) was used most commonly. PESR was primarily used for aphasia (36.5%) and paresis (25.2%). PESR patients did not differ from non-PESR patients in age, gender and stroke type. However, the utilization rates of PESR differed significantly across centers (2, 4, 38 and 55%). Conclusion: SSRI and SNRI were predominately used for accompanying depression, while levodopa was nearly exclusively used to aid stroke rehabilitation in the absence of an otherwise established indication. The differences in utilization rates for PESR between centers suggest therapeutic uncertainty and indicate the need for additional studies.
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