London: A hormone that is associated with growth has facilitated recovery during the later phases of rehabilitation after a stroke, scientists say.
Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) is a hormone that is found in the blood and contributes to, among other things, growth and bone mass.
This hormone is found in higher levels among people who exercise regularly and those with good health. Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden, have shown for the first time that similar levels are also associated with better long-term recovery after a stroke.
"This study is interesting for two reasons. The first is that we show that a hormone is associated with improved long-term recovery, and thus there is still the prospect of improvement - even after three months after the stroke," says David Aberg, associate professor at Sahlgrenska.
"The second is that levels of this hormone are known to be elevated in those who exercise often", adds Aberg, who led the study with Prof Jorgen Isgaard, reports the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.
"It is, however, important to add that the levels of IGF-I are controlled also by other factors, such as other growth hormones, heredity and nutrition," Åberg said, according to a Sahlgrenska statement.
The study is based on a study at the Sahlgrenska Academy, in which people 407 stroke victims between 18-70 years are followed up for two years after the event.
Scientists have measured the levels of IFG-I in these 407 patients and seen that increased levels are associated with better recovery, when the degree of recovery is determined between three and 24 months after the stroke.