Combined exercise and drug therapy shows promise for stroke survivors

16 August 2012

Stroke patients could be helped by a therapy which combines exercise and a neurovascular protective agent, according to a new animal study.

Research published in the journal Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience revealed that a program of exercise and the neuroprotective agent known as S-nitrosoglutathione (GSNO) improved the recovery from stroke.

Lead researcher Avtar K Singh explained: "In our study, GSNO or motor exercise provided neuroprotection, reduced neuronal cell death, maintained tissue structure, and aided functional recovery by stimulating the expression of neuronal repair mediators.

"GSNO in combination with exercise accelerated the rate and enhanced the degree of recovery."

Administration of GSNO was not only found to cut brain injury, but also to improve neurological scores. While exercise alone was not sufficient to reduce the infarct volume, it did improve neurobehavioural functions.

Combining both therapies showed a greater functional improvement than either GSNO or exercise alone.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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