In a placebo-controlled, double-blind study, 82 patients in the subacute stage of a disabling stroke were studied to assess the effect on clinical improvement of 600 mg naftidrofuryl against placebo. Forty-two patients were treated with the drug and 40 with placebo, in each case administered for 60 days. All patients received 100 mg aspirin and 300 mg dipyridamole daily and entered a similar program of rehabilitation therapy. At the start and the end of the study, the motor functions of the upper and lower limbs, the ability to walk and to perform daily activities, the comprehension and expression of speech, and the mental progress were assessed with quantitative linear scales. In the group treated with active drug, a greater overall tendency of improvement was observed, reaching statistically significant levels for walking and activities of daily life when compared to placebo-treated patients. Overall improvement was negatively influenced by advancing age, but the statistically significant effect of treatment on walking and daily activities was not interfered with by age. Right-sided lesions showed better improvement under active drug than left-sided lesions. This may be due to a correctional effect of naftidrofuryl on hemispatial neglect.
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