Escitalopram for enhancement cognitive recovery following stroke

January 01, 0001

Escitalopram for enhancement cognitive recovery following stroke

These US investigators examine the effect of escitalopram on cognitive outcome following stroke in a randomized trial including 129 patients. Participants were treated within 3 months following stroke for 12 months. Two arms were double-blinded comparison of citalopram with placebo. A third nonblinded arm of was Problem Solving Therapy (n = 41). Measures included the Repeatable Battery for the Assessment of Neuropsychological Status (RBANS) and Trail-Making, Controlled Oral Word Association, Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-III Similarities, and Stroop tests.

They found: "We found a difference among the 3 treatment groups in change in RBANS total score and RBANS delayed memory score. After adjusting for possible confounders, there was a significant effect of escitalopram treatment on the change in RBANS total score (adjusted mean change in score- escitalopram group 10.0, nonescitalopram group 3.1) and the change in RBANS delayed memory score (adjusted mean change in score-escitalopram group 11.3, nonescitalopram group 2.5). We did not observe treatment effects in other neuropsychological measures."

The authors concluded: "When compared with patients who received placebo or underwent Problem Solving Therapy, stroke patients who received escitalopram showed improvement in global cognitive functioning, specifically in verbal and visual memory functions. This beneficial effect of escitalopram was independent of its effect on depression. The utility of antidepressants in the process of poststroke recovery should be further investigated."

If these results are replicable they will probably also extend to citalopram.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Gen Psychiatry 67(2):187-196, February 2010
© 2010 to the American Medical Association
Escitalopram and Enhancement of Cognitive Recovery Following Stroke. Ricardo E. Jorge, Laura Acion, David Moser, Harold P. Adams Jr, Robert G. Robinson. Correspondence to Dr. Jorge: [email protected]

Category: P Psychological Keywords: escitalopram, stroke, memory, memory, cognitive function, randomized controlled trial, journal watch.
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 16 February 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.