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Recognising and managing depression is an important part of post-stroke treatment, but some treatments should be used with caution until more is known about the risks, according to new evidence published in the Cochrane Library today.

Close up horizontal image of female practitioner holding hand of older man

The George Institute for Global Health researchers analysed the results of 49 trials involving over 3,000 people with depression following a stroke and found that while psychological therapy or medication could be useful, the latter may come with some potentially harmful side effects. 

Senior author Professor Maree Hackett, Program Head, Mental Health at The George Institute said that while depression is an important consequence of stroke that impacts on recovery, it is often not detected or is inadequately treated. 

“Management of people who have experienced a stroke tends to focus on the physical effects of the stroke and the psychological effects may be overlooked. Having depression after stroke can hamper recovery by reducing a person’s motivation or making them unable to keep up with the recommended rehabilitation,” she said. 

Read the full story on the University of Oxford website