Differences in therapeutic responses and factors affecting post-stroke depression at a later stage according to baseline depression

EMOTION investigators

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Background and Purpose The pathophysiology of post-stroke depression (PSD) is complex and may differ according to an individual’s mood immediately after stroke. Here, we compared the therapeutic response and clinical characteristics of PSD at a later stage between patients with and without depression immediately after stroke. Methods This study involved a post hoc analysis of data from EMOTION (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01278498), a placebo-controlled, double-blind trial that examined the efficacy of escitalopram (10 mg/day) on PSD and other emotional disturbances among 478 patients with acute stroke. Participants were classified into the Baseline-Blue (patients with baseline depression at the time of randomization, defined per the Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale [MADRS] ≥8) or the Baseline-Pink groups (patients without baseline depression). We compared the efficacy of escitalopram and predictors of 3-month PSD (MADRS ≥8) between these groups. Results There were 203 Baseline-Pink and 275 Baseline-Blue patients. The efficacy of escitalopram in reducing PSD risk was more pronounced in the Baseline-Pink than in the Baseline-Blue group (P for interaction=0.058). Several risk factors differentially affected PSD development based on the presence of baseline depression (P for interaction <0.10). Cognitive dysfunction was an independent predictor of PSD in the Baseline-Blue, but not in the Baseline-Pink group, whereas the non-use of escitalopram and being female were more strongly associated with PSD in the Baseline-Pink group. Conclusions Responses to escitalopram and predictors of PSD 3 months following stroke differed based on the presence of baseline depression. Our data suggest that PSD pathophysiology is heterogeneous; therefore, different therapeutic strategies may be needed to prevent PSD emergence following stroke.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)258-267
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Stroke
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2018 May

    Bibliographical note

    Funding Information:
    Jong S. Kim has received grants from Dong-A Pharmaceutical Company and from the Ministry for Health, Welfare, and Family Affairs, South Korea. All other authors declare no competing interests.

    Funding Information:
    This study was supported by the Ministry for Health, Welfare, and Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (HI14C1985).

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2018 Korean Stroke Society.


    • Anger
    • Depression
    • Emotional incontinence
    • Escitalopram
    • Stroke

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Clinical Neurology
    • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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