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Elena Napolitano, Elie P. Elovic, Adnan I. Qureshi
Med Sci Monit 2005; 11(6): RA212-220
The sequelae of a traumatic or acquired brain injury may manifest itself in many ways that include decreased attention and arousal as well as cognitive, emotional and sensorimotor defi cits. The discussion
that follows will serve as a review of the use of stimulants in the management of patients with strokes or traumatic brain injury. The indications discussed include treating defi cits in attention
and arousal, as well as facilitating functional recovery. The literature cited has been derived from various research and clinical settings. After briefl y reviewing, biochemistry and neuroanatomy,
the paper discusses pertinent treatment issues such as the timing of initiation and discontinuation of stimulating medication with emphasis on the varied, current clinical practices. With the complexity of the various neurochemical processes that occur as a result of secondary brain damage, it would be impossible to review all potential stimulating agents in a single article. The authors’ intent was to review the most commonly used neurostimulants, various intervention strategies, potential benefi ts and caveats and long-term outcomes with the use of these medications.