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As much as scientists are trying to figure out the treatment that will cure depression, the particulars of this health disorder are so numerous and diverse from patient to patient that it remains a huge challenge. Now, a new study raises awareness regarding post stroke depression patients. As data shows about 70 percent of these patients don’t receive treatment mainly because they dismiss the symptoms.

Suffering a stroke and recovering from such an ordeal is far from an easy task. Plus, what many such patients aren’t aware is that after a stroke depression is often a common next step. However, if many imagine feeling blue isn’t something they should consider, new findings point to a way different attitude. Untreated depression is bound to affect the recovery and rehabilitation of a stroke patient.

Deputy Director of Research at the Stroke Association Dr. Peter Coleman explained that “depression is the most common psychological change experienced after stroke…it can effect patients who have had a TIA or mini stroke as well as people who have had a full blown stroke”.

As Coleman points out the depression itself is a damage caused by the stroke. “Both TIAs and strokes cause physical damage to the brain…a number of psychological effects, such as difficulty with controlling your emotions, personality changes as well as depression”.

Researchers with the Duke University Medical Center released new findings regarding stroke and depression in the new edition of journal “Stroke”. Their study investigated over 1,450 adults that survived an ischemic stroke and 397 who had suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA).

Study co-author Dr. Nada El Husseini explains that the study’s findings pointed to the fact that 32 percent of the patients they investigated had presented depression symptoms the next three months after suffering the stroke. The symptoms continued to as much as 12 months after hospitalization and 70 percent of the stroke patients presented persistent depression and did not receive any sort of antidepressant therapy during the time.

El Husseini emphasized that “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”. Also, the researcher explained that “it is important for physicians to screen for depression on follow-up after both strike and TIA”.

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