Objective Studies of TCS report changes of the echotexture of mesencephalic raphe in patients with major depression and depressive symptoms in some neurodegenerative disorders (Parkinson’s disease (PD), Wilson’s disease (WD)). The aim of this study was to test the usefulness of TCS in diagnosing of patients with genetically confirmed HD and concomitant psychiatric disorder. It is well established that the presence of reduced nucleus raphe echogenicity correlates with signs of depression in patients with affective as well as neurodegenerative disorders (Walter et al., 2010). TCS may be helpful in selection of the patients at risk of depression and can be useful in monitoring and management of HD patients.
Methods TCS was performed in 55 patients with HD. The neurological and psychiatric examination was performed using the battery of tests Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale (UHDRS motor, behavioural and cognitive), PBA-s (Problem Behaviours Assessment-Short), PBA-HD and HADS-SIS (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale combined with the Snaith Irritability Scale), the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression, the Beck Depression Inventory and the Marin’s Apathy Evaluation Scale (AES).
Results Hypoechogenicity of raphe nucleus was found in 80% of patients with depression (16/20), 22% of patients with irritability (2/9), 30% of patients with OCD (3/10 number) and 12,5% of patients without present or past history of psychiatric disturbances (2/16).
Another finding, hyperechogenic substantia nigra was visualised in 45% and hyperechogenicity of lentiform nucleus was visualised in 55% of patients with genetically confirmed HD.
Conclusions Our preliminary findings seem to confirm the relationship between changes in mesencephalic raphe echogenicity and the presence of depressive symptoms also in patients with HD.
- Huntington’s disease
- brain structure