Linking post-stroke depression and cognitive impairment

Takeaway

  • Cognitive impairment in acute stroke patients was strongly correlated with symptoms of depression. No link was found between cognitive impairment and symptoms of anxiety.

Why this matters

  • Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety are common in post-stroke patients and are believed to hamper long-term recovery.

  • A commonly reported risk factor for post-stroke depression is cognitive impairment, but the research underpinning this claim is inconsistent and rarely examines cognitive impairment persisting upwards of 6 months. In addition, few studies examine depression and anxiety together, despite their common co-occurrence. There is a need for clearer answers about the link between post-stroke mood and cognitive impairment.