The DARS (Dopamine Augmented Rehabilitation in Stroke) trial: protocol for a randomised controlled trial of Co-careldopa treatment in addition to routine NHS occupational and physical therapy after stroke

Bipin B Bhakta, Suzanne Hartley, Ivana Holloway, J Couzens, Gary A Ford, David Meads, Catherine M Sackley, Marion F Walker, Sharon P Ruddock, Amanda J Farrin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Background
Stroke has a huge impact, leaving more than a third of affected people with lasting disability and rehabilitation remains a cornerstone treatment in the National Health Service (NHS). Recovery of mobility and arm function post-stroke occurs through re-learning to use the affected body parts and/or learning to compensate with the lesser affected side. Promising evidence suggests that the addition of Co-careldopa to physical therapy and occupational therapy may improve the recovery of arm and leg movement and lead to improved function.

Methods/design
Dopamine Augmented Rehabilitation in Stroke (DARS) is a multi-centre double-blind, randomised, placebo, controlled clinical trial of Co-careldopa in addition to routine NHS occupational therapy and physical therapy as part of early stroke rehabilitation. Participants will be randomised on a 1:1 basis to either Co-careldopa or placebo. The primary objective of the trial is to determine whether the addition of six weeks of Co-careldopa treatment to rehabilitation therapy can improve the proportion of patients who can walk independently eight weeks post-randomisation.

Discussion
The DARS trial will provide evidence as to whether Co-careldopa, in addition to routine NHS occupational and physical therapy, leads to a greater recovery of motor function, a reduction in carer dependency and advance rehabilitation treatments for people with stroke.
Original languageEnglish
Article number316
JournalTrials
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2014

Cite this