Researchers have found that even if stroke survivors
escape severe mental impairment they are less likely to be independent if they
are depressed, older or have other medical problems. Post-stroke depression is
a common problem and about 1/3 survivors develop depression.
About 367 stroke survivors with an average age of 62-years who did not have severe language or thinking skill impairments were part of the study. Out of these patients, 174 were diagnosed with depression one month following the stroke episode. Patients were rated on a 0 to 5 scale, with 5 being extremely dependant. 3-months after the stroke about 20% patients scored 3 or more.
Researchers have noted that even if treatment of post-stroke depression does not directly influence the recovery of the patient, it is very important to identify and treat this depression. The study has been published in the journal Neurology.