Inflammation and depression: why poststroke depression may be the norm and not the exception


  • Conflict of interest: None declared.

Professor Sheila Gillard Crewther*, School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Vic., Australia 3086. E-mail:


Ischaemic stroke often precedes the appearance of clinical depression. Poststroke depression in turn influences the prognostic outcome. In the interest of advancing our understanding of the biological mechanisms underlying the development of poststroke depression, this systematic review explores the immunological processes driving the development of inflammation-related cell death in mood-related brain regions. Particular attention has been paid to cytokine-driven intrinsic apoptosis factors, including intracellular calcium, glutamate excitotoxicity and free radicals that appear in the brain following ischaemic damage and whose presence significantly increases the likelihood of clinically defined depression.