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As many as two-thirds of people who experience stroke or transient ischemic attach (TIA) are not diagnosed for depression but are among the highest at-risk patients.
Reports of depression are just as high with TIA as stroke even though the physical impairment does not remain.
“The findings suggest this is not just a simple association between depression and the functional impairment typically associated with stroke,” said Daniel Laskowitz, MD, professor of medicine at Duke and the senior author of the study. Several factors may be at play. Brain injury caused by stroke and TIA might lead to depression or the vascular risk factors that predispose patients to stroke and TIA may also put them at risk for depression.
Stroke has been experienced by 5.4 million Americans. Stroke is when a blood clot blocks an artery or a blood vessel breaks. Blood flow to the brain is interrupted and this can lead to disabilities. TIA is a brief episode of neurological dysfunction.
“The high rates of under-treated depression seen in this study demonstrate the need for depression screening in these patient populations,” says Nada El Husseini, MD, a stroke fellow at duke. “It should become standard procedure to screen for depression after stroke and TIA.”
Patients should also be better informed as to what to expect post-stroke. “When I see patients in clinic, its rare for them to say they are feeling depressed. But if I ask them, they tell me how they feel. If they knew more about the association between depression, stroke and TIA, they may be more likely to bring up these symptoms with their providers.”
Source: MedicalNewsToday, Stroke
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