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Psychol Med. 1990 Nov;20(4):815-28.

Mood disorders in long-term survivors of stroke: associations with brain lesion location and volume.

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  • 1University Department of Psychiatry and Neurology, Oxford.


Sixty surviving patients from a community-based stroke register who had CT scan evidence of a single brain lesion and neurological signs appropriate to it were interviewed three to five years following their first-ever stroke. Mood disorder (anxiety and depression), physical disability, and intellectual impairment were assessed using standardized measures. The position and volume of the brain lesion was determined from CT scans performed soon after the stroke. The prevalence of depressive disorder was lower in this sample than that reported in previous studies (DSM-IIIR major depression 8.3%; all DSM-IIIR depressive disorders 18.3%). Reports by other workers for an association of depressive disorder either with left-sided brain lesions, or with anteriorly placed lesions in the left cerebral hemisphere, were not supported. Neither was there evidence of a correlation between symptom score and proximity of the lesion to the anterior pole of the left cerebral hemisphere. Psychiatric symptom scores were however greater with larger volume brain lesions. Anxiety disorders, especially agoraphobia, were relatively common (20% if diagnosed in the presence of depressive disorder), but were not related to lesion location or volume.

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