Psychological features in persons at risk for familial Alzheimer's disease

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Neurology

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Alzheimer Disease; Anxiety Disorders; Depressive Disorder; Female; Genetic Predisposition to Disease; Humans; Male; Middle Aged; Personality Inventory; Probability; *Sick Role


Neurology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology


Persons at risk for inherited neurodegenerative diseases may experience symptoms of anxiety and depression because of concern over the possibility of developing the disease in the future. The purpose of this study was to assess psychological and emotional symptoms in persons at the age of risk for developing early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease (FAD). Their responses on a psychiatric rating scale (SCL-90-R) were compared with four groups: patients with mild FAD; head injury patients; patients with clinically diagnosed depression; and healthy control subjects. Mean scores of the at-risk FAD group were not statistically different than those of the controls. In contrast, the head injury and depressed groups had significantly elevated scores across the clinical scales. These results suggest that depression and anxiety are not prominent features in persons at genetic risk for early-onset familial Alzheimer's disease. Similar results have been found in studies of persons at risk for developing Huntington's disease, another autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease.


Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2001 May-Jun;16(3):157-62.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of Alzheimer's disease and other dementias

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