Depression and Apathy After Transient Ischemic Attack or Minor Stroke: Prevalence, Evolution and Predictors

Anna Carnes-Vendrell, Joan Deus, Jessica Molina-Seguin, Josep Pifarré, Francisco Purroy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Few previous studies have focused on affective impairment after transient ischemic attack (TIA) and/or minor stroke. The aim was to establish the prevalence, evolution and predictors of post-stroke depression (PSD) and post-stroke apathy (PSA) over a 12-month follow-up period. We prospectively included TIA and minor stroke patients (NIHSS ≤4) who had undergone magnetic resonance imaging <7 days. PSD was diagnosed according to DSM-5 criteria and PSA was defined based on an Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES-C) score of ≥37. Clinical and neuroimaging variables (presence and patterns of lesion, cerebral bleeds and white matter disease) were analysed in order to find potential predictors for PSD and PSA. Follow-up was performed at 10 days and after 2, 6, 9 and 12 months. 82 patients were included (mean 66.4 [standard deviation11.0] years) of whom 70 completed the follow-up. At 10 days, 36 (43.9%) and 28 (34.1%) patients respectively were diagnosed with PSD and PSA. At 12 months, 25 of 70 (35.7%) patients still had PSA, but only 6 of 70 (8.6%) had PSD. Beck Depression Inventory-II score, mini mental state examination (MMSE) and a previous history of depression or anxiety were predictors for PSD. While MMSE score, The Montgomery Asberg Depression Rating Scale and having previously suffered a stroke were also risk factors for PSA. Acute basal ganglia lesion and periventricular leukoaraiosis were associated with PSA while deep leukorariosis with PSD. Despite the presence of few or only transient symptoms, PSD and PSA frequent appear early after TIA and minor stroke. Unlike PSD, apathy tends to persist during follow-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16248
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2019


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