Treatment of Depression after Traumatic Brain Injury Reduces Risk of Neuropsychiatric Outcomes

Jennifer S. Albrecht, Alison Lydecker, Matthew E. Peters, Vani Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The objectives of this study were to identify characteristics associated with receipt of antidepressants for treatment of incident depression diagnosed following traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to assess the impact of receipt of treatment for depression on risk of other neuropsychiatric outcomes associated with TBI. We conducted a retrospective cohort study of individuals with TBI who were subsequently diagnosed with incident depression between 2008 and 2014 using data from the OptumLabs® Data Warehouse. We identified factors associated with receipt of antidepressants and compared risk of new diagnosis of alcohol dependence disorder, anxiety, insomnia, and substance dependence disorder between those who received antidepressants and those who did not over a maximum 2-year follow-up, controlling for duration of use and clinical and demographic characteristics. Of 9581 individuals newly diagnosed with depression following TBI, 4103 (43%) received at least one antidepressant. Moderate-severe TBI (odds ratio [OR] 1.44; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.39, 1.50), female sex (OR 1.21; 95% CI: 1.19, 1.24), diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease (OR 1.39; 95% CI: 1.35, 1.44), and anxiety (OR 1.35; 95% CI: 1.31, 1.38) were associated with receipt of antidepressants. Longer duration of antidepressant use was associated with decreased risk of newly diagnosed anxiety (hazard ratio [HR] 0.92; 95% CI: 0.89, 0.96), insomnia (HR 0.94; 95% CI: 0.91, 0.98), and substance dependence disorder (HR 0.92; 95% CI: 0.88, 0.97). These results provide evidence of a beneficial effect of antidepressant use on incidence of outcomes associated with poorer recovery from TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2542-2548
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurotrauma
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • antidepressants
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • insomnia
  • substance dependence disorder
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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