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Depressive and Cognitive Symptoms and Psychiatric Comorbidity of Taiwanese Patients with Machado–Joseph Disease

Chih-Wan Huang, Chia-Yih Liu, Chin-Song Lu, Yeong-Yuh Juang

Objectives:The objectives of this study were to investigate the psychiatric and cognitive symptoms as well as and psychiatric comorbidity in Taiwanese patients with Machado–Joseph disease (MJD). Methods:Fourteen patients with genetically confirmed Machado-Joseph disease and eight sex- and age-matched healthy volunteers were recruited. A board-certified psychiatrist conducted structured diagnostic interview. The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale was as-sessed by clinical psychologists. Both groups received assessment with Symp-toms Checklist (SCL-90-R) and Zung’s Depression Scale and GHQ/QL-12. Results: Nine of 14 MJD patients (64.3%), had depressive or anxiety disorders. MJD patients showed significant severity of psychiatric symptoms including somatization (p < 0.05), obsession (p < 0.001), depression (p < 0.05), phobia (p < 0.05), hostility (p < 0.01), paranoia (p < 0.01) and psychotism (p < 0.01). They showed significantly lower scores in verbal (p < 0.05), performance (p < 0.001), and full IQ test (p < 0.01). The life quality was also significantly poorer in pa-tients with MJD compared to normal control (p < 0.001). Conclusion: The Taiwanese patients with MJD have more psychiatric and cognitive disturbance than controls. The disturbances influence their life quality. This condition needs more attention and treatment.
Key Word spinocerebellar ataxia type 3, cerebellar cognitive affective syndrome, Symptoms Checklist-90-R, Zung’s Depression Scale
Editorial Committe, Taiwanese Journal of Psychiatry
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