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SSRI antidepressants are not associated with cerebral microbleeds or ischaemic vascular lesions
  1. Richard Morriss
  1. Institute of Mental Health, University of Nottingham Division of Psychiatry and Applied Psychology, Nottingham, UK;

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ABSTRACT FROM: Aarts N, Akoudad S, Noordam R, et al. Inhibition of serotonin reuptake by antidepressants and cerebral microbleeds in the general population. Stroke 2014; 45:1951–7.

What is already known on this topic

In observational cohort studies, small increases in risk of stroke and transient ischaemic attacks have been shown to be associated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) antidepressants compared to no treatment for depression in the over 65 years age group when cardiovascular risk factors were adjusted.1 SSRI antidepressants might decrease platelet aggregation and increase bleeding2 but in a meta-analysis of studies in animals, SSRIs were shown to improve neurogenesis but not infarct volume.3 In a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials of SSRIs in stroke, SSRIs appeared to improve disability, neurological impairment, anxiety and depression after stroke; however, there was high heterogeneity for every outcome.4

Methods of the study

A general population cohort of 4945 people without dementia …

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  • Competing interests RM is currently funded on studies for depression by the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care East Midlands (CLAHRC EM) and the Mind Tech Health Technology Co-operative.

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