Table of Contents
Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology
Volume 2011, Article ID 649629, 6 pages
Review Article

Depression, Strokes and Dementia: New Biological Insights into an Unfortunate Pathway

1Neuroscience Research, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1Y 4E9
2Canadian Stroke Network and Center for Stroke Recovery, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1G 5Z3
3Division of Neurology, University of Ottawa, 2413-451 Smyth Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1H 8M5

Received 25 August 2011; Revised 14 October 2011; Accepted 18 October 2011

Academic Editor: Milos D. Ikonomovic

Copyright © 2011 Antoine M. Hakim. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The literature emphasizes the risk of depression after a stroke. Less well known is the fact that depression may be as big a risk factor for strokes as hypertension, particularly in the older age group. This article reviews the risk for stroke and cognitive impairment consequent to depression, and describes the cardiovascular and immunological mechanisms that would appear to link depression to its cerebrovascular consequences. As well, the article refers to the brain imaging signatures that may allow prediction of impending brain injury. Finally, some questions that might be explored by future research are suggested, and some practical means to identify and help those at risk for the development of depression-associated vascular disease of the brain are suggested.