Probability of obsessive and compulsive symptoms in Huntington's disease

Biol Psychiatry. 2007 Feb 1;61(3):415-8. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2006.04.034. Epub 2006 Jul 12.


Background: The purpose of this study was to examine the probability of obsessive and compulsive (OC) symptoms across stages of Huntington's disease (HD) with both cross sectional and longitudinal data.

Methods: We present the largest sample to date of individuals at risk for HD (N = 3964). Obsessive and compulsive symptoms were assessed with the Unified Huntington's Disease Rating Scale OC items.

Results: The probability of meeting the threshold for obsessions and compulsions increased with greater disease severity. Those with no motor abnormalities ("at risk") had a 7% probability of obsessions and a 3.5% probability of compulsions; the peak probability for obsessions (24%) and compulsions (12%) occurred in patients with advanced disease with significant functional disability.

Conclusions: The probability of OC symptoms is more than three times greater by stages 3 and 4 (clearly manifest disease) than in our at-risk group with no apparent motor abnormalities.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Huntington Disease / complications*
  • Huntington Disease / genetics
  • Huntington Disease / psychology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / complications
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / epidemiology*
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder / psychology*
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Risk