Poststroke depression, the second most serious psychosomatic complication after brain stroke, leads to delay of the rehabilitation process and is associated with an increased disability and cognitive impairment along with increase in term mortality.
Two depressive syndromes, major depression and minor (dysthymic) depression, have been reported in patients with stroke lesions. Major poststroke depression is associated with lesions involving left cortical (mainly frontal) and subcortical (mainly basal ganglia) regions. Dysfunction of biogenic amines may play an important role in the mechanism of poststroke depression. Most studies reported a prevalence of poststroke depression of about 40%. Poststroke depression may be adequately treated with antidepressant drugs. Depression pre-stroke, cognitive impairment, stroke severity, and anxiety are the major predictors of depression after stroke.