|Year : 2019 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 24-30
Cognitive and psychological evaluation of a sample of egyptian patients with behcet’s disease without neurological manifestations: a case–control study
Sonya M Rashad1, Essam A.M Abda1, Romany H Gabra2, Mohamed R.A Razek1, Tarek Desoky3, Esraa A Talaat1
1 Department of Rheumatology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine, Assuit University, Assuit, Egypt
2 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Assuit University, Assuit, Egypt
3 Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, South Valley University, Qena, Egypt
|Date of Submission||08-Nov-2018|
|Date of Acceptance||02-Dec-2018|
|Date of Web Publication||9-May-2019|
Lecturer of psychiatry, Department of Neuropsychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, South Valley University, Qena, 83511
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
Objective Behcet’s disease (BD) is a chronic autoimmune multisystemic vasculitis of unknown cause that affects one case per 170 000 persons in the USA. There are few studies in the literature that targeted BD patient group for cognitive and psychological evaluation and scarce studies that evaluated the patients with BD without neurological manifestations. In this study, we aimed to assess those who have BD without neurological manifestations for cognitive and psychological impairments.
Patients and methods A case–control study was conducted. A total of 45 consecutive adult patients, aged 18–60 years, diagnosed with BD without neurological manifestations were evaluated for cognitive and psychological impairments and compared with 30 age-matched and sex-matched healthy control participants. Detailed clinical evaluation was done including disease activity measurement using Behçet’s Disease Current Activity Form. Participants completed a group of neuropsychological assessment including Memory Assessment Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Short Form 36 Quality-Of-Life questionnaire, and Global Assessment of Functioning scale.
Results Compared with the control group, patients with BD scored lower in Memory Assessment Scale (total and subscores), Short Form 36 Quality-Of-Life questionnaire, and Global Assessment of Functioning scores. BD group showed significantly higher prevalence of depression and anxiety.
Conclusion BD without neurological manifestations was associated with cognitive and psychological impairment, and this was not restricted to cases with neuro-BD.
Keywords: anxiety, Behcet, ’s disease, cognitive impairment, depression, psychological evaluation
|How to cite this article:|
Rashad SM, Abda EA, Gabra RH, Razek MR, Desoky T, Talaat EA. Cognitive and psychological evaluation of a sample of egyptian patients with behcet’s disease without neurological manifestations: a case–control study. Egypt J Psychiatr 2019;40:24-30
|How to cite this URL:|
Rashad SM, Abda EA, Gabra RH, Razek MR, Desoky T, Talaat EA. Cognitive and psychological evaluation of a sample of egyptian patients with behcet’s disease without neurological manifestations: a case–control study. Egypt J Psychiatr [serial online] 2019 [cited 2021 Oct 27];40:24-30. Available from: http://new.ejpsy.eg.net/text.asp?2019/40/1/24/257848
| Introduction|| |
Behcet’s disease (BD) is a systemic inflammatory disease of still unclear etiopathogenesis characterized by recurrent oral and genital ulcers, ocular involvement, and neuropsychiatric manifestations (Sakane et al., 1999).
Neuro-Behcet’s disease (NBD) is a term that refers to the neurological manifestations of BD and lies on a wide spectrum of conditions and may be life threatening and severe (Serdaroglu, 1998; Monastero et al., 2003), reported in 5% of patients with BD (Serdaroglu, 1998; Akman-Demir et al., 1999) and represents a poor prognostic factor (Siva et al., 2001). Epilepsy, stroke-like episodes, dural venous sinous thrombosis, meningoencephalitis, and cranial nerve palsies are common manifestations of NBD (Oktem-Tanor et al., 1999; Joseph and Scolding, 2007).
Neuropsycho-Behcet is a new term that refers to the psychiatric manifestations of BD. Depression and anxiety are the most common psychiatric manifestations of BD (Siva et al., 2001).
Few of the previous studies have investigated the cognitive impairment among patients with BD without neurological manifestations. So, we aimed at this study to evaluate such category of patients with BD for cognitive dysfunction.
BD is a chronic multisystemic disease that affects globally the functioning and quality of life of patients. A disease of such characteristic should be associated with psychological sequelae such as depression and anxiety. The aim of this study is to detect the relationship between the disease and the prevalence of depression and anxiety and to verify the factors that regulate such relationship.
We aimed, in this study, to investigate the prevalence and pattern of the cognitive profile and the prevalence of depression and anxiety and to assess the quality of life of patients with BD and to address the factors that may affect such relationships.
| Patients and methods|| |
A total of 45 patients diagnosed with BD and 30 healthy control participants of the same sex and age were examined and evaluated for cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and quality of life. Patients were recruited from the rheumatology and rehabilitation outpatient clinics of Assiut and South Valley University Hospitals, of an age range 18–60 years. Cases with overt neurological manifestations, uncontrolled hypertension, diabetes, substance abuse, and mixed rheumatological disorders were ruled out of the study.
An informed written consent was given by the all participants. The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Assiut and South Valley Universities, and all data of the study were confidential.
- Clinical and neurological examination: for justifying inclusion and exclusion criteria and detecting the prevalence of the clinical manifestations of the disease.
- Behçet’s Disease Current Activity Form (BDCAF) (Bhaktaet al., 1999): it is an assessment tool that evaluates BD for activity during the last four weeks before assessment, through symptoms of the disease such as oral/genital ulcers, arthritis, fatigue, skin manifestations, vasculitis, gastrointestinal, and central nervous system manifestations on scale from 0 to 12. Scores above four were considered to be active disease.
- Neuropsychological tests:
BD and control participants passed the following neuropsychological tests:
- Memory Assessment Scale (MAS) (Williams, 1991): it is a psychometric tool that assesses three types of memory functioning; short memory, verbal memory and visual memory. It consists of 12 subtests based on seven memory tasks: List Learning, Verbal Span, Visual Span, Visual Reproduction Prose memory, Visual Recognition, and Names-Faces.
- Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (Hamilton, 1960): it consists of 17 points, each scored between 0 (no depression) and 4 (severe depression). Total score equal or less than 7 is considered normal, 8–16 mild depression, 17–23 moderate, and scores above 24 are considered as severe depression. The maximum score is 52.
- Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (Hamilton, 1959): it consists of 14 points, each scored between 0 (no anxiety) and 4 (severe anxiety). Maximum total score is 56, where <17 (mild), 18–24 (mild to moderate), and >25 (moderate to severe).
- Short Form 36 Quality-Of-Life (SF-36 QOL) questionnaire (Ware and Sherbourne, 1992): it is an eight-item questionnaire that assesses different areas of the quality of life. These items include social function, emotional well-being, pain, general health, limitation owing to emotional problems, and limitation owing to physical health and physical function. Items are scored on a 0–100 scale, where 0 is the lowest and 100 the highest score. The high score equals higher quality of life and vice versa.
- Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale (DSM-IV-TR, 2000): a 0 through 100 scale that assesses the occupational, psychological, and social functioning in adults.
Statistical analysis was carried out using IBM SPSS software, version 24 (International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Armonk, New York, United States). Data were presented as mean±SD. For comparing means of two independent variables, we used independent t-test. For comparing means of dependent variables, we used paired t-test. We used Spearman’s and Pearson’s correlation coefficients to test correlation between variables as appropriate for data type. P value was considered significant if less than 0.05 with 95% confidence interval.
| Results|| |
This study was carried out in Assiut and South Valley University Hospitals, where cases had been recruited from the rheumatology outpatient clinics of both hospitals. The study included 45 patients diagnosed with BD, comprising 35 (77.8%) males, and 10 (22.2%) females. Their ages ranged between 18 and 60 years, with a mean age of 34.27±10.70 years. More than half (57.6%) of patients were married. Thirty age-matched and sex-matched control participants were also included in the study. Approximately two-third of patients with BD (68.9%) and 50.0% of the control participants lie in the middle of the socioeconomic scale ([Table 1]).
Clinical manifestations of the disease group had been shown in [Table 2]. Duration of illness ranged between 0.5 and 21.0 years, with a mean of 6.16±5.62 ([Table 3]). Approximately 24 (53.3%) patients were in active disease ([Table 4]).
|Table 3 Duration of illness among studied participants with Behcet’s disease patients|
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Memory Assessment Scale
MAS in all its variables showed highly significant lower scores in patients with BD than in control participants (P=0.000). The mean short-term memory of BD patients was 55.09±4.89, mean verbal memory was 76.93±8.92, mean visual memory was 56.04±3.50, and the mean total memory score was 62.47±5.90 ([Table 5]).
|Table 5 Comparison between Behcet’s disease and control individuals regarding Memory Assessment Scale|
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Hamilton Depression Rating Scale
The mean Hamilton Depression Rating Scale score for patients with BD was 29.18±7.57 and for control participants was 8.30±1.21, with a highly significant difference between both groups (P=0.000) ([Table 6]).
|Table 6 Comparison between Behcet’s disease and control individuals regarding Hamilton Depression Rating Scale|
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Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale
The mean score of Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale for BD was 16.58±4.44 and for control participants was 8.40±1.13, with a highly significant difference between both groups (P=0.000) ([Table 7]).
|Table 7 Comparison between Behcet’s disease and control individuals regarding Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale|
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Short Form 36 Quality-Of-Life questionnaire
The mean scores of all items of SF-36 QOL questionnaire, namely, physical function, limitation owing to physical health, limitation owing to emotional problems, energy–fatigue, emotional well-being, social function, pain and general health, were highly significantly lower in patients with BD than in control participants (P=0.000) ([Table 8]).
Global Assessment of Functioning scale
The mean GAF score of patients with BD (64.00±8.94) was highly significantly lower than that of the control participants (81.00±6.82) (P=0.000) ([Table 9]).
Factors affecting memory deficit, depression, and anxiety among patients with Behcet’s disease
There was no significant relationship between various clinical manifestations on one side and memory deficit, depression, and anxiety on the other side ([Table 10]).
|Table 10 Relationship between various clinical manifestations on one side and memory deficit, depression, and anxiety on the other side|
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There was no significant difference between active and inactive groups of BD regarding MAS, Hamilton Depression Scale, and Hamilton Anxiety Scale ([Table 11]).
|Table 11 Comparison between active and inactive groups of Behcet’s disease regarding Hamilton Depression Scale, Memory Assessment Scale, and Hamilton Anxiety Scale|
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Duration of the disease was not significantly correlated with the prevalence of memory deficit, depression, and anxiety among patients with BD, correlated neither with their quality of life nor with the serum levels of interleukin-17 and interleukin-23 ([Table 12]).
|Table 12 Correlation between disease duration of Behcet’s disease and Memory Assessment Scale, Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale, Short Form 36 Quality-Of-Life questionnaire|
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| Discussion|| |
Cognitive studies in BD are restricted, and cognitive dysfunction in BD was mostly associated with neurological involvement. Attention impairment, memory deficit, and executive malfunctioning were reported to be characteristic of BD cognitive profile in previous reports (Akman-Demir et al., 1999; Oktem-Tanor et al., 1999).
Frontal and temporal cortical dysfunction owing to subcortical damage, mainly of the brainstem, was reported to be one of the theories behind pathogenesis of cognitive manifestations of BD (Monastero et al., 2004).
In this study, memory scores in patients with BD (measured by MAS) were significantly lower than in control participants. This was in consistence with many previous studies (Akman-Demir et al., 1999; Monastero et al., 2004).
Cognitive impairment is rationalized for patients with NBD; however, just few studies examined the prevalence and pattern of cognitive dysfunction in non-NBD patients. In a cross-sectional study including 72 participants, in three groups, each comprising 24 patients, a comparison between patients with NBD, patients BD without neurological manifestations, and a healthy control group was done in terms of prevalence of cognitive dysfunction among patients with BD. The resulting findings showed higher prevalence of cognitive dysfunction among BD cases in comparison with control participants. However, visual memory impairment prevalence was higher only in NBD group, whereas executive dysfunction was higher in both patients with NBD and patients with BD without neurological manifestations relative to healthy control group (Dutra et al., 2013).Similarly, in a case–control study of a similar aim, 30 patients with BD without explicit neurological manifestations were evaluated for executive dysfunction using Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and other neuropsychological tools, scores of which were found to be significantly lower than those of control participants, which means that BD without neurological manifestations also might show cognitive dysfunction as well (Erberk-Ozen et al., 2006).
In another study that included 26 patients with BD without neurological manifestations and same number of control participants, a higher prevalence of cognitive dysfunction was reported, with memory being the most affected domain. Unlike this findings, the high disease activity (assessed by the BDCAF) was associated with increased prevalence of cognitive impairment. However, the duration of illness, in consistence with this study, was not associated with cognitive impairment in patients with BD (Monastero et al., 2004).
This indicates that cognitive impairment occurs in BD independently of presence or absence of NBD.
In many previous studies, depression and anxiety were significantly higher in patients with BD than in patients without BD (Calikoglu et al., 2001; Bagheri et al., 2013).
Depression was estimated in some studies by an incidence of 86% early in the disease (De Oliveira Ribeiro et al., 2014).
The poor quality of sleep was considered as one of the commonly encountered clinical findings in BD, present according to some reports in 67% of patients (Kim et al., 2016). Many reports found a positive correlation between poor sleep quality and resulting overall poor quality of life and depression and cognitive dysfunction in patients with BD (Uygunoglu et al., 2014; Kim et al., 2016; Lee et al., 2017).
In this study, all items of the SF-36 QOL scored lower in patients with BD in contrast to control participants; this might be a contributor in the higher prevalence of depression and anxiety among patients with BD, and this was supported by many previous reports that related the poor quality of life to the disease, especially the active form (Bodur et al., 2006; Uğuz et al., 2007; Canpolat and Yurtsever, 2011).
Other studies reported that fibromyalgia is commonly seen in patients with BD, and the primer is commonly associated with depression and anxiety (Jobanputra et al., 2017).
The presence of arthritis, as a painful condition that is being expected to affect the quality of life in patients with BD and may therefore predispose to depression and anxiety, was investigated, and the findings showed that patients with BD without arthritis had a significantly higher incidence of depression measured by Beck Depression Inventory and anxiety measured by State-Trait Anxiety Inventory than healthy control participants (Gur et al., 2006).
In comparison with other chronic pathologies, BD and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were investigated for depressive and cognitive disorders, and the results revealed that both disorders had a mental disorder background specifically depression and cognitive impairment; the rates of depression in BD and RA reached (94 vs. 79%, respectively). The recurrent depression and chronic depression were diagnosed in both disorders, but were more prevalent in RA (58.4 vs. 39.2%). Most patients with BD and RA showed some sort of cognitive dysfunction with variable severity but with higher incidence in BD (73 vs. 66.4%); impaired memory and attention were the most found cognitive dysfunctions diagnosed in BD (Veltishchev et al., 2017).
Psoriasis, as a chronic dermatological disorder that is intimately related to disturbed psychological background including anxiety and depression, was investigated versus BD in various comparative studies, and the prevalence of these psychological disorders was significantly higher in patients with BD relative to its prevalence in psoriasis (Calikoglu et al., 2001; Taner et al., 2007).
In this study, there was no positive relationship between disease activity and cognitive dysfunction, depression, or anxiety. Disease activity was investigated in several previous reports. Koca et al. (2015) investigated the effect of disease activity (assessed using BDCAF) on BD-associated depression and sleep quality, and the results revealed a significant positive correlation between disease activity and depression and sleep quality. Similarly, Kim et al. (2016) found a positive correlation between disease activity (measures by BDCAF) and depression and poor quality of sleep in Korean populations.
| Conclusion|| |
BD, as well as other rheumatological disorders, is commonly associated with mental disorders including depression, anxiety, and cognitive dysfunction. A multidisciplinary approach of management had become a necessity, and psychiatric assessment of patients with BD should be a main part of their evaluation for ideal treatment outcome.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| Uncited references|| |
De Oliveira Ribeiro et al. (2014) and Neves et al. (2008).
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[Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7], [Table 8], [Table 9], [Table 10], [Table 11], [Table 12]