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Post Stroke Depression May be Blamed on Changes in Brain Network

Update Date: Jun 06, 2012 06:26 PM EDT

A new study has revealed that post stroke depression could be because of the changes in brain's network which involves emotional regulation.

A lot of people experience depression following a stroke. For the research, the brain scans of 24 people aged between 18 and 80 who had a stroke were studied.

The brain scans were taken 10 days after the stroke and the participants were also checked for any signs of depression at that time and again after 3 months of the stroke.

Apparently, 10 out of 24 people got mild depression while 14 others were fine.

It seems people who got depression showed modification in their DMN or default-mode network in their brain scans.

"A third of patients surviving a stroke experience post-stroke depression (PSD)," said Dr. Igor Sibon, professor of neurology at the University of Bordeaux in Bordeaux, France, and the lead researcher of the study.

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

The brain scans were taken at the time when the patients were resting and the researchers looked at the complete network of emotional regulation in the brain rather than concentrating at one part.

"The default-mode network is activated when the brain is at rest. When the brain is not actively involved in a task, this area of the brain is engaged in internal thoughts involving self-related memory retrieval and processing," Sibon said according to the report.

One-third of stroke patients experience PSD but are often left untreated due to ineffective diagnosis.

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