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Depression linked to brain impairment in stroke patients

Depression linked to brain impairment in stroke patients
11th June 2012

Patients that experience severe depression following a stroke may do so as a result of an impairment in the brain networks associated with emotion regulation.

According to a new study published in the journal Radiology, there is a strong link between post-stroke depression and the damage caused to the brain as a result of the condition.

Dr Igor Sibon, lead researcher on the study and professor of neurology at the University of Bordeaux in France, explained: “A third of patients surviving a stroke experience post-stroke depression.

"However, studies have failed to identify a link between lesions in the brain caused by ischemia during a stroke and subsequent depression."

Nonetheless, Dr Sibon believes his study may have shed some light on the relationship by identifying a modification of connectivity in the default-mode network of the brain in patients with depression.

The findings could help to prove that depression is the result of impairment in instances of stroke and is not a separate phenomenon in itself.

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