-- Robert Preidt
THURSDAY, March 29 (HealthDay News) -- While depression is
common among people who've survived a stroke, it too often goes
undiagnosed and untreated, research shows.
"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," study co-author Dr. Nada El Husseini, a stroke fellow in the neurology division at Duke University Medical Center, said in a news release from the journal Stroke.
The study included 1,450 adults survivors of ischemic stroke
(involving blocked blood flow to the brain) and 397 with a
transient ischemic attack (TIA or "mini-stroke").
The researchers found that about 18 percent of the stroke
patients and more than 14 percent of the TIA patients were
depressed three months after their hospitalization.
Twelve months after hospitalization, 16.4 percent of stroke
patients and almost 13 percent of TIA patients had depression,
according to the study, published March 29 in the journal
El Husseini believes that "it is important for physicians to
screen for depression on follow-up after both stroke and TIA."
The study also found that nearly 70 percent of stroke and TIA
patients with persistent depression were not receiving
antidepressant therapy at either three or 12 months after
Most patients with stroke had only mild disability and only a
few TIA patients had severe disability, but depression rates in
both groups of patients were similar.
"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, but more studies are needed," El Husseini said.
The U.S. National Institute of Mental Health has more about
depression and stroke.
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