Depression as the middle-and long-term impact for pre-symptomatic testing of late-onset neurodegenerative disorders

Susana Lêdo*, Angela Leite, Teresa Souto, Maria Alzira Dinis, Jorge Sequeiros

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This cross-sectional study investigated depression as the middle-(4 years) and long-Term (7 and 10 years) psychological impact of pre-symptomatic testing (PST) for 3 autosomal dominant late-onset diseases: Huntington's disease (HD), Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) and familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP) TTR V30M. It included 203 subjects: 170 (83.7%) underwent the PST for FAP, 29 (14.3%) for HD and 4 (2%) for MJD. Of these 203, 73 were still asymptomatic carriers, 29 (14.5%) were symptomatic, 9 (4.5%) were FAP liver transplanted patients and 89 (44.5%) were non-carriers. Subjects were mainly women (58.1%) and married (66.5%). The Beck Depression Inventory (BDI) was used to evaluate depression. Scores were higher for symptomatic carriers and for those who have made one or more psychological support consultations over the years. For the formers, the mean scores pointed to mild depression. Asymptomatic carriers and non-carriers had similar scores but it was impossible to differentiate the psychological impact between the medium and long-Term. For symptomatic carriers, there were significant differences between the middle-and long-Term. The study indicates that depression occurs only when subjects had previously manifested the first symptoms of their neurologic disease.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-594
Number of pages16
JournalTemas em Psicologia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Depression
  • Late-onset neurologic diseases
  • Pre-symptomatic testing
  • Psychological impact


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