Clinical Correlates of Depression and Suicidality in Huntington Disease: An Analysis of the Enroll-HD Observational Study

Natalia P. Rocha, Madison R. Tuazon, Jorge Patino, Erin Furr Stimming, Antonio L. Teixeira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Depression and suicidality are commonly experienced by Huntington disease (HD) gene carriers. Research on these behavioral symptoms is imperative, not only to increase our understanding of the symptoms and how they relate to HD, but also to contribute to improving patients' care and quality of life. Objective: To identify clinical variables associated with a history of depression and suicidality in HD gene carriers. Method: We conducted a cross-sectional study of HD gene carriers from the Enroll-HD database PDS4 (periodic data set 4; N = 11,582). Data from baseline visits were obtained, and binary logistic regression models were used to ascertain the effects of clinical variables on the likelihood that HD gene carriers would have previous depression and suicidal ideation/attempts. Results: Approximately 65% (n = 7526) of the HD gene carriers had a history of depression, and 27% (n = 3152) had previous suicidal ideation/attempts. Female sex; diagnosis of manifest HD; history of perseverative/obsessive behavior, apathy, and psychosis; and previous suicidal ideation/attempts were significantly associated with a history of depression in the HD gene carriers. Medical history of apathy, psychosis, and depression, as well as worse scores on the Total Functional Capacity and Irritability Scales, were significantly associated with previous suicidal ideation/attempts in the HD gene carriers. Conclusion: The prevalence of depression and suicidality is high among HD gene carriers. An improved understanding of the risk factors for depression and suicide in HD gene carriers can assist providers in recognizing at-risk individuals and allow providers to implement therapeutic strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)85-94
Number of pages10
JournalCognitive and Behavioral Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 22 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • depression
  • Enroll-HD
  • Huntington disease
  • suicidality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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