Depression Treatment After A Stroke Too Often Undiagnosed

Depression treatment after a stroke is often overlooked by patients and physicians according to a recent study published in the journal Stroke. While depression after surviving a stroke is a common occurrence it is oftentimes left untreated and even undiagnosed in patients.

Researchers conducted a study of 1450 ischemic stroke survivors and roughly 397 that had had a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), often referred to as a mini-stroke.

The study shows that nearly 18 percent of the stroke survivors and 14 percent of the patients who had suffered from a TIA showed signs of depression three months after being hospitalized. Within a year, nearly 16.4 percent of those who had suffered a stroke and nearly 13 percent of those with a TIA were still depressed.

According to the study, nearly 70% were not receiving depression treatment at either the three month or twelve month mark, though they continued to show signs and symptoms of depression.

Examples of depression include feelings of sadness, helplessness, hopelessness, sleep problems and thoughts of suicide.

Chad Miller, MD, an Ohio State University associate professor of neurology and neurologic surgery, reviewed the study for WebMD:

“There is a stunning rate of undiagnosed depression in this group.”

Study co-author Dr. Nada El Husseini stated in a news release from the journal Stroke:

“Patients need to be open about their symptoms of depression and discuss them with their physicians so that they can work together to improve outcomes.”

Dr. El Husseini believes its important for physicians to screen for depression on follow ups after both a stroke and TIA. By doing so, the physician can better diagnose depression and begin a depression treatment plan.

Check out the video for a health tip involving depression after a stroke.