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Prescription for recovery? Researchers determine ideal DOSE of exercise to improve walking, thinking and quality of life after stroke

Determining Optimal post-Stroke Exercise (DOSE) trial is the first study to control for exercise intensity and dose early after stroke.  Preliminary data have found that individuals post-stroke in in-patient rehabilitation programs may be able to tolerate more exercise during their day. Funded by the HSF Canadian Partnership for Stroke Recovery and led by researchers in Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto, the goal of the DOSE trial is determine the appropriate exercise prescription to promote optimal recovery in the early phase after stroke. The first phase of the study assigned 20 stroke patients to one of three groups: usual care physical therapy, usual care physical therapy replaced by an hour of physical therapy emphasizing aerobic and walking exercise, or usual care physical therapy replaced by two hours of physical therapy emphasizing aerobic and walking exercise. Preliminary data have shown that patients can tolerate a daily, two-hour intensive physical therapy exercise program emphasizing walking and aerobic exercise during inpatient rehabilitation. The DOSE trial will recruit a total of 75 participants and investigate how exercise may improve walking, cognition, and quality of life in stroke patients at a critical stage of rehabilitation and recovery.

Principal investigators: Janice Eng at UBC, Sean Dukelow at U of Calgary and Mark Bayley at Toronto Rehab.

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