To the Editor: The randomized controlled trial by Dr Robinson and colleagues1 provided evidence that escitalopram can reduce the risk of poststroke depression over the first year after stroke. Apart from their antidepressive properties, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have been shown to have neuroprotective function in animal models.2- 4 It would therefore be interesting to know whether the data in the study by Robinson et al suggest an additional neuroprotective effect of escitalopram, using outcomes such as reappearance of cerebral ischemia, degree of recovery from neurological deficits, or duration of physical rehabilitation needed after stroke.
Schulte-Herbrüggen O, Röpke S. Escitalopram, Problem-Solving Therapy, and Poststroke Depression. JAMA. 2008;300(15):1757-1759. doi:10.1001/jama.300.15.1757-a