Depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder have been widely reported in patients with dystonia. On the other hand, cognitive impairment, frontal lobe function, impulsiveness and pseudobulbar affect are less studied. The objective of the study is to assess these neuropsychiatric symptoms along with the quality of life of subjects with craniocervical dystonia.
A cross-sectional study was carried out in patients with craniocervical dystonia. Sex- and age-matched healthy controls were included. Neuropsychiatric assessment included the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Frontal Assessment Battery (FAB), Barrat Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11), Center for Neurologic Study-Lability Scale (CNS-LS), Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), Hamilton Depression Rating Scale (HAM-D), and the 12-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-12).
A total of 44 patients with craniocervical dystonia and 44 controls were included. The mean age was 57 ± 13.7 years. Depression (56.1 % vs 9.1 %, p < 0.001), anxiety (56.8 % vs 6.8 %, p < 0.001), and pseudobulbar affect (31.8 % vs 9.1 %, p = 0.02) were more common in the dystonia group in comparison to controls. No difference between groups was found in impulsiveness (p = 0.65), MoCA score (p = 0.14) or executive dysfunction (p = 0.42). Quality of life was worst in the dystonia group with 90.9 % (p = 0.03) and 61.4 % (p < 0.001) of the subjects scoring under average in the Physical Composite Score (PCS) and Mental Composite Score (MCS) of the SF-12.
MoCA scores ≤18, pseudobulbar affect, depression and anxiety are more prevalent in subjects with craniocervical dystonia in comparison to sex- and age-matched healthy controls. Regarding quality of life, MCS is more affected that the PCS in subjects with dystonia.

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