BACKGROUND: An association between cerebrovascular events and psychiatric disorders has been reported. However, the focus has centered on stroke, and there has been a lack of attention to a possible relationship between transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) and depression.
METHODS: We conducted a review of studies that looked specifically at the risk of depression after TIAs and the risk of TIAs in patients with depression. A total of 8 studies were identified, 4 examining the occurrence of depression following a TIA, and 4 examining the occurrence of TIAs after the onset of depression.
RESULTS: There was a bidirectional effect: 3 of 4 studies showed an increased risk of TIAs in patients with depression, and 4 of 4 studies found an increase of depression following a TIA. The percentage of patients having a TIA from the pool of patients with depression was 3.18%. The percentage of patients who developed depression after a TIA in the pooled samples was 6.88%.
CONCLUSIONS: Both depression and TIAs are serious medical disorders and they appear to have a bidirectional relationship. Further clinical and neurobiological studies in this area are warranted.