Depression and its relation to lesion location after stroke

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The study of discrete organic cerebral lesions resulting in clearly definable psychiatric disorders may provide an understanding of the underlying pathophysiological basis of these disorders. However, the relation between lesion location and psychiatric illness after stroke remains unclear. Fifty five patients referred to hospital were identified who had a single lesion on CT which was consistent with their neurological presentation and who did not have evidence of a persistent affective disorder at the time of the stroke. Six months after stroke standardised psychiatric assessment disclosed that 26% of the patients met DSM-IV criteria for an anxiety or depressive disorder, with depression the most common diagnosis (20%). Pathological emotionalism was diagnosed in 18% of patients, particularly those who were depressed (p<0.0001). Depression was significantly associated with larger lesions involving the right cerebral hemisphere (p=0.01). The importance of depression as a consequence of stroke has been clarified by the studies in this area. However, wide confidence intervals support the possibility that significant results may be due to chance. A systematic review of these studies is now needed if a consensus is to be reached.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)371-4
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1998


  • Activities of Daily Living
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Delirium, Dementia, Amnestic, Cognitive Disorders
  • Depressive Disorder
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Interview, Psychological
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed

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