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Depression in One Third of Stroke Patients

The physical aspects of stroke recovery often attract a lot of attention, but the impact on mental health can be just as significant. A recent study from the University of Cincinnati found that approximately 33 percent of stroke survivors also suffer from depression in the aftermath.

The findings, published recently in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, highlight one of the most substantial difficulties of stroke recovery. The small study involved 36 subjects who had a stroke within the previous 36 months. The findings suggest that factors such as loss of mobility and uncertainty about their health can weigh heavily on the minds of stroke survivors.

"For these individuals, loss of control due to infirmity caused by stroke could be perceived as a loss of power and prestige," said study author Michael McCarthy. "These losses, in turn, may result in more distress and greater depressive syndromes."

The findings highlight another obstacle in the road to stroke recovery, and suggest that in-home care providers should address mental as well as physical health. Experts say one way they can help prevent depression in stroke survivors is to be clear and upfront about the rehabilitative process and the expectations of recovery.

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