WRITER: JENNIFER DUFF
CONTACT: DAVE PEDERSEN
283 Medical Laboratories
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-8032; fax (319) 335-8034
Study indicates gender differences in post-stroke depression
IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Women are twice more likely than men to experience
major depression following stroke, says a University of Iowa College of
Medicine researcher in a recent study.
Dr. Sergio Paradiso, a research associate in psychiatry, says that gender-based
differences in the brain account for the frequency of women diagnosed with
post-stroke depression. Among women with major depression, there is a significant
association with lesions in the left hemisphere.
"Gender-based differences in the organization and functioning of
the brain have been shown by several investigators. We expected that based
on these differences, a brain injury would affect men and women differently,"
The study was done to test a theory about differences in the frequency
of major depression. Researchers believed that a brain injury would bring
on major depression more frequently in women because females are more likely
to develop depression without a visible brain lesion.
Among 301 consecutive admissions for treatment of cerebrovascular injury,
women's severity of depression was associated with prior diagnosis of psychiatric
disorder and cognitive impairment. Greater severity of depression in men
was associated with greater impairment in daily activities and social functioning.
"We hoped that finding different predictors or risk factors in
women compared to men would then help to guide treatment options. We are
currently beginning to examine the data of a treatment study of post-stroke
depression using antidepressant medications," Paradiso says.