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New Hope for Speech Problems After Stroke

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Stroke patients may also see improvements with another treatment. A study in the Sept. 8 issue of The Lancet shows that the drug levodopa, commonly prescribed for Parkinson's disease, may help stroke patients recover some of their ability to move.

Klaus Sheidtmann, MD, of the Neurologische Klinik in Bad Aibling, Germany, and colleagues divided about 50 stroke patients into two groups; one received single daily doses of levodopa, the other a placebo.

Both groups also underwent physical therapy, but after three weeks, it was just the levodopa group whose movement recovery was "significantly improved." The improvements held steady even when the patients were tested three weeks after the drug was stopped.

Sheidtmann writes that the results show "levodopa combined with [physical therapy] is an effective and safe method for improving motor recovery after stroke."

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