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Revista da Associação Médica Brasileira

Print version ISSN 0104-4230On-line version ISSN 1806-9282


TERRONI, Luisa de Marillac Niro; LEITE, Claudia Costa; TINONE, Gisela  and  FRAGUAS JR, Renério. Poststroke depression: risk factors and antidepressant treatment. Rev. Assoc. Med. Bras. [online]. 2003, vol.49, n.4, pp.450-459. ISSN 0104-4230.

Depression is the most frequent psychiatric complication among stroke survivors. Several aspects have been indicated as risk factors for its occurrence. This review investigates the risk factors and the state of the art of the treatment for poststroke depression, in order to stimulate its detection and adequate treatment by the physician. The point prevalence of Major Depression after stroke varies from 10% to 34%, varying according to differences among the research methods. The length of poststroke period, characteristics of the sample, type of treatment received by patients and diagnostic criteria used can influence the reported prevalence of poststroke depression. The risk factors that have been associated with the occurrence of poststroke depression, are: functional and cognitive impairment, previous history of depression and stroke, sex, age, hypercortisolism, poor social support and stroke neuroanatomic correlates. This one has supported the formulation of a pathophysiological mechanism for poststroke depression related with prefrontosubcortical circuits and neurotransmission of biogenic amines. The depression has a harmful impact on stroke prognosis. It can cause a more severe functional impairment, retardation of the rehabilitation process, outcome complications, and a higher mortality risk. In addition, poststroke depression has not been accurately diagnosed and treated. With the advantage of the magnetic ressonance, researchers should focus investigations on the association of specific cerebral regions with the depressive manifestation and treatment response. Methodological issues such as previous history of depression and the type of the depressive manifestation should be considered for analysis.

Keywords : Depression; Stroke; Risk Factors; Treatment.

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