Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria
Print version ISSN 0004-282X
SIMIS, Samuel and NITRINI, Ricardo. Cognitive improvement after treatment of depressive symptoms in the acute phase of stroke. Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. [online]. 2006, vol.64, n.2b, pp. 412-417. ISSN 0004-282X. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2006000300012.
The outcome of antidepressant treatment for depressive symptoms and cognitive impairment at the acute phase of stroke is controversial. We investigated 93 patients, treating with citalopram 36 with severe depressive symptoms (HAM-D: Hamilton Depression Rating Scale >18), whilst 19 patients with mild depressive symptoms, and 38 non-depressed patients, remained untreated. At baseline (two weeks after stroke), patients with severe depressive symptoms had lower scores in total Dementia Rating Scale (DRS) and in the attention and memory DRS subscales, than the non-depressed patients (p<0.001). At the end of the three-month follow-up period, these differences had disappeared, but patients initially with mild depressive symptoms had higher HAM-D scores than the non-depressed patients (p=0.015), and lower scores in DRS attention and memory subscales (p<0.01), than the patients treated with citalopram. Treatment was associated with improved mood, memory and attention, and a placebo-controlled study on the treatment of mild depressive symptoms is warranted.
Keywords : post-stroke depression; treatment; vascular cognitive impairment; vascular dementia.