The intensity dependence of the auditory-evoked potentials (IDAP) is inversely related to serotonergic tone. Depression is frequently observed after stroke, associated with cognitive impairment and increased mortality. Aim of this study was to investigate the serotonergic tone in acute stroke patients by IDAP. Consecutive patients with an acute stroke admitted in our stroke unit were evaluated using clinical and instrumental examinations and compared with healthy controls. The IDAP was calculated as the linear amplitude/stimulus intensity function (ASF) slope, by measuring the peak-to-peak amplitude of Nl-P2 on four blocks of different stimulus intensities. Twenty patients were enrolled; 11 had a right brain infarction; nine had depressive symptoms (DS). The ASF slope of the auditory-evoked potentials was markedly increased in stroke patients compared with controls (P = 0.021). Stroke patients with DS had a significant steeper ASF slope than controls (P = 0.017). There was no statistical difference in ASF slope between stroke patients without DS and controls. Post-stroke depression pathophysiology is still debated. Our study suggests that in acute stroke patients with DS, there is a direct involvement of the serotonergic system, regardless the degree of disability and the site of the lesion.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology