Suicidality in Huntington's disease

Leiden Repository

Suicidality in Huntington's disease

Type: Doctoral Thesis
Title: Suicidality in Huntington's disease
Author: Hubers, Anna Alida Maria (Marloes)
Publisher: Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Leiden University
Issue Date: 2016-01-21
Keywords: Huntington's disease
Risk factors
Abstract: In this thesis the epidemiology of suicidal ideation and suicide attempts (together referred to as ‘suicidality’) in Huntington’s disease (HD) is investigated and coping styles and support strategies that may serve to help suicidal HD mutation carriers are explored. Suicidality frequently occurs in HD, with a 1-month prevalence of up to 20%. Mutation carriers who were most likely to currently experience suicidal ideation or suicidality had a shorter disease duration, were anxious, aggressive, previously attempted suicide, used antidepressants, and had a depressed mood. The presence of a depressed mood and use of benzodiazepines were the only significant independent predictors of incident suicidal ideation or suicidality. Biological parameters, in particular functioning of the immune system and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis were not found to be associated with suicidality in HD. In a qualitative study it was shown that suicidal HD mutation carriers generally used four strategies to cope with suicidality: talking about suicidality, employing self-management activities, using medication, and discussing end-of-life wishes. Lastly, in a meta-analysis, we examined whether the expression of suicidal ideation predicted subsequent completed suicide. Effect estimates differed substantially among different populations, but none of the included studies investigated this association in HD.
Description: Promotores: R.C. van der Mast, R.A.C. Roos, Co-Promotores: E.J. Giltay, E. van Duijn
With Summary in Dutch
Faculty: LUMC
Citation: Hubers, A.A.M., 2016, Doctoral Thesis, Leiden University
ISBN: 9789064649479
Sponsor: Printing: Vereniging van Huntington

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