Research links stroke to depression, early mortality - WNCT

Research links stroke to depression, early mortality

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LOS ANGELES -

At 29 years old Nancy Virgen never thought she would have a stroke.

She also lost her sight. As she tried to recover physically, she began to suffer emotionally.

A new study from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine finds stroke survivors who become depressed are three times more likely to die early and four times more likely to die from another stroke.

Up to one in three people who have a stroke develop depression. Experts say it's key to keep an eye out for changes in behavior so symptoms can be managed.

Signs can include difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite, concentration problems, and loss of interest in favorite activities.

Nancy faced her depression head on. She tried medication but says it was the support of her family that got her through.

She wants other stroke victims to know their depression is real, and to reach out for help like she did.

The Centers for Disease Control says more than 800,000 people die each year due to stroke in the United States.

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