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Depression – a common disorder across a broad spectrum of neurological conditions: a cross-sectional nationally representative survey

Andrew G.M. Bulloch, Kirsten M. Fiest, Jeanne V.A. Williams, et al.

General Hospital Psychiatry, Available online 11 June 2015


To estimate the prevalence of depression across a range of neurological conditions in a nationally representative sample.

The data source was the Survey of Living with Neurological Conditions in Canada (SLNCC), which accrued its sample by selecting participants from the Canadian Community Health Survey. The point prevalence of depression was estimated by assessment of depressive symptoms with the Patient Health Questionnaire, Brief (Patient Health Questionnaire, 9-item).

A total of n= 4408 participated in the SLNCC. The highest point prevalence of depression (> 30%) was seen in those with traumatic brain injury and brain/spinal cord tumors. Depression was also highly prevalent (18–28%) in those with (listed from highest to lowest) Alzheimer’s disease/dementia, dystonia, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, migraine, epilepsy and spina bifida. The odds ratios for depression, with the referent group being the general population, were significant (from highest to lowest) for migraine, traumatic brain injury, stroke, dystonia and epilepsy.

All neurological conditions included in this study are associated with an elevated prevalence of depression in community populations. The conditions with the highest prevalence are traumatic brain injury and brain/spinal cord tumors.

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About the Editors

  • Prof Timothy Vartanian

    Timothy Vartanian, Professor at the Brain and Mind Research Institute and the Department of Neurology, Weill Cornell Medical College, Cornell...
  • Dr Claire S. Riley

    Claire S. Riley, MD is an assistant attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology in the Neurological Institute, Columbia University,...
  • Dr Rebecca Farber

    Rebecca Farber, MD is an attending neurologist and assistant professor of neurology at the Neurological Institute, Columbia University, in New...

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Note that EMD Serono, Inc., has no editorial control or influence over the content of this Resource Centre. The Resource Centre and all content therein are subject to an independent editorial review.

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Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders, September 2015, Vol 4 Issue 5