Duchenne muscular dystrophy is a hereditary multisystemic disease caused by mutations in dystrophin gene. It is characterized by proximal muscle weakness in early childhood as cases become unable to walk around the age of 9-12 years. Over the following years failure of respiratory muscles occur leading to respiratory insufficiency and death before the age of 20 years. Cognitive and neurobehavioral changes are prevalent in Duchenne muscular dystrophy cases. Furthermore psychiatric disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorders, anxiety disorder, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder have been reported. Herein, we present twelve cases with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, aiming to address psychiatric comorbidities and to examine anxiety and depression levels as well as quality of life among these cases.
Twelve inpatients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy are consulted by a psychiatrist or child and adolescent psychiatrist according to their ages. Psychiatric examination along with detailed psychiatric and medical history taking have been performed. Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and KINDL Scale have been applied. Family interview has been conducted. In five cases comorbid psychiatric diagnoses were present, including depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder. Anxiety levels were higher then threshold level in two cases.
As well as cognitive and neurobehavioral changes, psychiatric comorbidities such as depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder might be seen in Duchenne muscular dystrophy, as in our cases. At the same time, due to the chronic illness process and disability, psychosocial support is needed both for the patient and the family. Therefore, it is important that psychiatry should be a part of the holistic treatment approach and that psychiatric support should be taken beginning from the first years in these cases.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy, psychiatric care, anxiety, depression, quality of life
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