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Vol. 12, No. 3, 2001
Issue release date: October 2001
Cerebrovasc Dis 2001;12:253–257

A Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study of the Effects of Amphetamine and Physiotherapy after Stroke

Sonde L. · Nordström M. · Nilsson C.-G. · Lökk J. · Viitanen M.
Division of Geriatric Medicine, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Occupational Therapy and Elderly Care Research (NEUROTEC), Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

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Major therapeutic advances in the rehabilitation of subacute stroke are lacking. One promising approach is treatment with amphetamine in combination with physiotherapy so as to promote motor function. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial, the effect of 10 sessions with 10 mg of amphetamine combined with physiotherapy during a 5-week period was investigated in 39 geriatric patients who had been admitted to a stroke rehabilitation unit. Motor function (Fugl-Meyer motor performance score) and activities of daily living (ADL; Barthel’s index) were assessed at baseline and at the end of treatment. All patients improved significantly over the intervention period. Amphetamine-treated patients did not show any increase in motor function or ADL as compared to the control group. Rehabilitation with amphetamine at this dosage and interval, combined with physiotherapy, did not promote motor recovery or functional capacity in patients suffering from stroke.

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