Psychiatric symptoms in Huntington's disease before diagnosis: the predict-HD study

Kevin Duff, Jane S Paulsen, Leigh J Beglinger, Douglas R Langbehn, Julie C Stout et al.
Biological Psychiatry 2007 December 15, 62 (12): 1341-6

BACKGROUND: Psychiatric disturbances are relatively common in manifest Huntington's disease (HD), but less is known about these symptoms in the earliest phase of the illness.

METHODS: This study examined self-reported psychiatric symptoms in a large sample (N = 681) of prediagnosed individuals who show the gene expansion for HD ("expansion-positive") compared with a sample of individuals who do not show the gene expansion but are at risk for HD ("expansion-negative").

RESULTS: Using baseline Symptom Checklist 90-Revised (SCL-90-R) data from the Predict-HD study, expansion-positive individuals reported significantly more psychiatric symptoms (e.g., depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsiveness) than expansion-negative individuals. Within the expansion-positive group, individuals with more motor signs had higher levels of psychiatric symptoms. The SCL-90-R scores had stronger relationships with reported abilities to perform activities of daily living than other markers of HD. Finally, when companions of the expansion-positive individuals also completed the SCL-90-R on the participants, there was considerable consistency in the ratings of psychiatric symptoms.

CONCLUSIONS: Subtle, subclinical psychiatric symptoms are present in this prediagnosed HD sample, even though most are estimated to be more than 10 years from HD diagnosis. As suggested by other research, these subtle symptoms might be the earliest markers of the disease; however, longitudinal data are needed.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"