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Depression and stroke: an up-to-date review

  • Pierluigi Politi (a1) (a2), Paola Sciarini (a1), Giovanni Segagni Lusignani (a1) and Giuseppe Micieli (a3)


Aims – To define the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of Post Stroke Depression (PSD) and to evaluate treatment options. Methods – Systematic search using Medline electronic database limited to studies published from year 2000 to 2004, was carried out. Manual search was also performed. Results – Depression after stroke is a common event. The same, stroke incidence in depressed patients is more frequent than by chance. Risk of underdiagnosing a patient with former stroke is high. Disability after stroke is frequent, with compromission of quality of life of patients and relatives. Antidepressants are efficacious in PSD treatment, even if complete remission is difficult to obtain. Conclusions – There is enough evidence concerning epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical and therapy to justify psychiatrists' interest on relationship between stroke and depression.

Declaration of Interest: in the past two years PP, GSL, PS have received no fees or other financial support from pharmaceutical companies, GM has received speaker fees from Sanofi-Aventis, Lundbeck, Bayer Health Care, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novo Mordisk.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Professor P. Politi, Sezione di Psichiatria, DSSAeP, Università di Pavia, via Bassi 21, 27100 Pavia. E-mail:


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