Nav: Home

Bleeding stroke survivors at higher risk of depression, dementia

February 22, 2017

HOUSTON, Feb. 22, 2017 - People who survive brain bleeds - the most lethal form of stroke - are at significantly higher risk of later developing depression and dementia, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2017.

Intracerebral hemorrhage is a stroke caused when a weakened blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain. Previous studies of depression and stroke have focused on ischemic stroke (caused by blockages in blood vessels), but little is known about depression among survivors of hemorrhagic stroke.

"Our study changes the way we look at depression after a hemorrhagic stroke," said lead author Alessandro Biffi, M.D., Assistant in Neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and Director of the Aging and Brain Health Research group. "Depression is not just an isolated phenomenon following a hemorrhagic stroke. It may identify those who are likely to develop dementia, and this is important when these patients are evaluated, particularly in outpatient care settings."

Researchers followed 695 survivors of intracerebral hemorrhage with no pre-stroke history of depression for five years. Participants were 50 percent women, approximately 75 percent white, and most had one or more of the known cardiovascular and cerebrovascular risk factors (hypertension, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia).

Researchers surveyed the study participants over the phone every six months asking about mood, anxiety, and cognitive performance to monitor the onset of depression and dementia. They found that 40 percent of the study participants developed depression during the first 50 months of follow-up after intracerebral hemorrhage, a rate of approximately 7 percent per year, which is higher than that found in the general population of the same age and gender.

The researchers also found that risk factors normally associated with the risk of having another hemorrhagic stroke -- lower educational levels, evidence of disease of the white matter of the brain, and carrying a variant of the apolipoprotein E gene -- also predicted the risk of developing depression.

Finally, patients who developed depression were also highly likely to develop dementia later in the course of the study. The overlap of depression and dementia was present in 63 percent of study participants; and among them, depression was diagnosed before the onset of dementia in 80 percent of cases, on average 18 months in advance.

"When caring for hemorrhagic stroke patients, healthcare providers tend to focus on preventing another stroke," Biffi said. "We have found that even among patients who do not have a second stroke, the incidence of depression and subsequently dementia are very high, and healthcare providers need to be on the lookout for it in order to counsel patients and families."
-end-
Co-authors include Christina Kourkoulis; Kristin Schwab; Alison M. Ayres; M. Edip Gurol, M.D.; Steven M. Greenberg, M.D., Ph.D.; Anand Viswanathan, M.D., Ph.D.; Christopher D. Anderson, M.D.; and Jonathan Rosand, M.D. Author disclosures are on the abstract.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

Additional Resources: Statements and conclusions of study authors that are presented at American Heart Association scientific meetings are solely those of the study authors and do not necessarily reflect association policy or position. The association makes no representation or warranty as to their accuracy or reliability. The association receives funding primarily from individuals; foundations and corporations (including pharmaceutical, device manufacturers and other companies) also make donations and fund specific association programs and events. The association has strict policies to prevent these relationships from influencing the science content. Revenues from pharmaceutical and device corporations are available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

Note: Actual scientific presentation is 3:42 p.m. CT/4:42 p.m. ET, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.

American Heart Association

Related Depression Articles:

Tackling depression by changing the way you think
A thought is a thought. It does not reflect reality.
How depression can muddle thinking
Depression is associated with sadness, fatigue and a lack of motivation.
Neuroimaging categorizes 4 depression subtypes
Patients with depression can be categorized into four unique subtypes defined by distinct patterns of abnormal connectivity in the brain, according to new research from Weill Cornell Medicine.
Studies suggest inflammatory cytokines are associated with depression and psychosis, and that anti-cytokine treatment can reduce depression symptoms
Studies presented at this year's International Early Psychosis Association meeting in Milan, Italy, (Oct.
Is depression in parents, grandparents linked to grandchildren's depression?
Having both parents and grandparents with major depressive disorder was associated with higher risk of MDD for grandchildren, which could help identify those who may benefit from early intervention, according to a study published online by JAMA Psychiatry.
Postpartum depression least severe form of depression in mothers
Postpartum depression -- a household term since actress Brooke Shields went public in 2005 about her struggle with it -- is indeed serious.
Tropical Depression 1E dissipates
Tropical Depression 1E or TD1E didn't get far from the time it was born to the time it weakened to a remnant low pressure area along the southwestern coast of Mexico.
Diagnosing depression before it starts
MIT researchers have found that brain scans may identify children who are vulnerable to depression, before symptoms appear.
Men actually recommend getting help for depression
Participants in a national survey read a scenario describing someone who had depressed symptoms.
Depression too often reduced to a checklist of symptoms
How can you tell if someone is depressed? The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) -- the 'bible' of psychiatry -- diagnoses depression when patients tick off a certain number of symptoms on the DSM checklist.

Related Depression Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Jumpstarting Creativity
Our greatest breakthroughs and triumphs have one thing in common: creativity. But how do you ignite it? And how do you rekindle it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas on jumpstarting creativity. Guests include economist Tim Harford, producer Helen Marriage, artificial intelligence researcher Steve Engels, and behavioral scientist Marily Oppezzo.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#524 The Human Network
What does a network of humans look like and how does it work? How does information spread? How do decisions and opinions spread? What gets distorted as it moves through the network and why? This week we dig into the ins and outs of human networks with Matthew Jackson, Professor of Economics at Stanford University and author of the book "The Human Network: How Your Social Position Determines Your Power, Beliefs, and Behaviours".