A commonly-prescribed anti-depressant pill Prozac may help restore movement in stroke victims and ease paralysis.
Researchers have shown more improvement in movement and greater independence after 3 months in patients taking the antidepressant (also known as fluoxetine), compared to a placebo, reports BBC News.
The study was based on research on 118 patients in France, who had moderate to severe motor disabilities following their stroke.
Tests on stroke patients 90 days after being given the drug found that patients taking fluoxetine had gained significantly more function in their upper and lower limbs than patients who were not given the drug.
Patients in the fluoxetine group were also more likely to be coping independently.
The study noted that the side-effects from the antidepressant were generally mild and infrequent, although this group did notice more instances of nausea and diarrhea.
The findings were reported in the journal Lancet Neurology.