Psychopathology in patients with degenerative cerebellar diseases: A comparison to Huntington's disease

Iracema Leroi, Elizabeth O'Hearn, Laura Marsh, Constantine G. Lyketsos, Adam Rosenblatt, Christopher A. Ross, Jason Brandt, Russell L. Margolis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: This study estimated the psychiatric morbidity of patients with degenerative cerebellar diseases. Method: The study included a series of 31 patients with degenerative cerebellar diseases, compared with 21 patients with Huntington's disease and 29 neurologically healthy comparison subjects. Comprehensive psychiatric evaluations, including the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV and psychopathology rating scales, were administered. Results: The overall rate of noncognitive psychiatric disorders was 77% in the patients with degenerative cerebellar diseases, nearly identical to that in the patients with Huntington's disease (81%) and about double that seen in the neurologically healthy subjects (41%). There were high rates of all mood disorders in both the degenerative cerebellar diseases group (68%) and the Huntington's disease group (43%); the rate in the degenerative cerebellar diseases group was significantly higher than that in the neurologically healthy subjects (31%). The frequency of personality change in the three groups was striking: change was present in 26% of the degenerative cerebellar diseases patients, 48% of the Huntington's disease patients, and none of the neurologically healthy comparison subjects. A total of 19% of the degenerative cerebellar diseases subjects and 71% of the Huntington's disease subjects met DSM-IV criteria for either cognitive disorder or dementia. Conclusions: The high rate of psychiatric and cognitive disorders in the patients with degenerative cerebellar diseases suggests that many, if not most, patients with degenerative cerebellar diseases may benefit from psychiatric interventions. These results also support previous findings that the cerebellum may have a role in modulating emotion and cognition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1306-1314
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Psychiatry
Volume159
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Psychopathology in patients with degenerative cerebellar diseases: A comparison to Huntington's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this