Executive dysfunctions and depression in Behçet's disease without explicit neurological involvement

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Abstract

This study aims to assess the executive functions and depression status in patients with Behçet's disease without explicit neurological involvement and to evaluate cognitive functions in this group of patients independent of accompanying depression. In the present study, 30 patients with Behçet's disease in the non-active phase of their illness and 30 healthy volunteers were included. In the evaluation of depression levels, Beck Depression Inventory was employed. The executive functions of the patients were evaluated by Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST) and Stroop Test (ST). Beck Depression Inventory scores measured in the Behçet's disease group, in which no clinically serious depression was observed, were higher than the control group. Then, it was observed that the scores of neuropsychological tests of the Behçet's disease group were found to be significantly lower, especially in WCST, while significant relations were revealed between Beck Depression Inventory scores and WCST, ST scores. The authors' findings suggest that there may be factors other than depression causing executive impairment in patients with Behçet's disease without explicit neurological symptoms. Executive dysfunctions may occur in association with mild depressive states due to chronic disease stress or silent and/or future neurological involvement of Behçet's disease, especially in the frontal lobes.

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