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 STROKE AND ANTIDEPRESSANTS

ANCHOR LEAD: SHOULD EVERYONE WHO HAS A STROKE BE GIVEN AN ANTIDEPRESSANT MEDICINE?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Antidepressant medications help prevent depression in people who’ve had a stroke and may also be beneficial is other ways, a recent study concluded.  Rafael Llinas, a stroke expert at Johns Hopkins, comments.

LLINAS:  This is an interesting study, for two reasons, I thought.  One is there aren’t many psychiatric problems you can predict and prevent, and so this is a subcategory of patients where you can do an intervention and they do better over time.  Second of all we do use a lot of antidepressants in patients who have stroke and the really good double blind placebo controlled evidence hasn’t been there.  One other thing is they actually had a medication arm and a therapy arm where they gave people problem solving skills and those people did just as well as medication and that’s really important too.    :31

Llinas says some people who’ve had a stroke may already be taking other medications that preclude their use of antidepressants, so its good news that therapy also helps.  I’m Elizabeth Tracey reporting.

 


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