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Personality traits in Huntington's disease: An exploratory study of gene expansion carriers and non-carriers

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Huntington's disease (HD) is associated with risk for developing psychiatric symptoms. Vulnerability or resilience to psychiatric symptoms may be associated with personality traits. This exploratory study, aimed to investigate personality traits in a large cohort of HD carriers and at risk gene-expansion negative individuals (HD non-carriers), exploring whether carrying the HD gene or growing up in an HD family influences personality traits. Forty-seven HD carriers, Thirty-nine HD non-carriers, and 121 healthy controls answered the Danish version of the revised NEO personality inventory. Comparisons between HD carriers and HD non-carriers were mostly non-significant but the combined group of HD carriers and non-carriers showed significantly higher scores on the facets: "hostility," "assertiveness," and "activity" and on the trait "Conscientiousness" relative to controls, "Conscientiousness" have been associated with resilience to psychiatric symptoms. Twelve HD carriers and non-carriers were classified as depressed and showed significantly lower scores on "Extraversion" and "Conscientiousness" and significantly higher scores on "Neuroticism," which are associated with vulnerability to psychiatric symptoms. Our findings suggest that, there is no direct effect of the HD gene on personality traits, but that personality assessment may be relevant to use when identifying individuals from HD families who are vulnerable to develop psychiatric symptoms. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican journal of medical genetics. Part B, Neuropsychiatric genetics : the official publication of the International Society of Psychiatric Genetics
Volume171
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1153-1160
Number of pages8
ISSN1552-4841
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016

ID: 49552146