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Depression Affects Stroke Patients

Depression Affects Stroke Patients

(ePharmaNews) - When we talk about brain stroke, the first thing that comes to mind is the image of a patient incapable of moving and barely speaks, so we can be convinced that it is normal for this patient to become depressed, but a new study confirmed that depression and the change of the psychological state is not linked by the degree of the injury and complications, but is directly related to lack of perfusion itself, regardless of its severity.

A team of the Department of Medicine, Division of Neurology, at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C. led by Dr. Nada El Husseini studied data about 1500 adult with cerebral infarction due to obstruction of brain vessels and about 400 had a transient ischemic attack.

The results, which published in today's Stroke of the American Society of Cardiology journal, showed that about 18% of patients with stroke were depressed during the next three months from entering the hospital, while the ratio was about 14.5% for people affected with transient ischemic attacks TIAs. The ratio has declined slightly in both groups in the following next year.

Interestingly, 70% of people with depression in both groups did not receive any antidepressants treatment during the first year following the illness. Moreover, the rates of depression were similar in both groups, even though   TIAs' patients did not suffer any serious complications whereas patients with strokes ended with a severe functional disability.

Dr. al-Husseini comment on this result by saying: "The similar rates of depression following stroke and TIA could be due to similarities in the rates of other medical conditions or to the direct effects of brain injury on the risk of depression"

The researchers noted that the incidence of  depression was most common in younger people and those who  have a larger deficit due to brain injury and were forced to stop working for at least 3 months, this is what makes the  cautious in  dealing  with these patients is essential for the prevention, diagnose  and fast treatment from depression.

 Dr. Nada concluded: " Patients need to be open about their symptoms of depression and discuss them with their physicians so that they can work together to improve outcomes”
Adding: " “It is important for physicians to screen for depression on follow-up after both stroke and TIA.”

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Prepared by: Houssam Nahhas

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