Psychopathological features and suicidal ideation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients

Arianna Palmieri, Gianni Sorarù, Elisa Albertini, Carlo Semenza, Francesca Vottero-Ris, Carla D'Ascenzo, Giorgia Querin, Alessandro Zennaro, Elena Pegoraro, Corrado Angelini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Psychopathological diagnosis has become increasingly important in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), since the recent emphasis on the comprehensive management and end-of-life decisions. Rorschach test is the third most commonly used psychological instrument worldwide and can offer a different approach from self-reporting questionnaires, mainly providing information on issues of which individuals may be unaware or unwilling to admit to. Forty-two ALS patients underwent a psychopathological assessment with the Rorschach test. Psychopathological data were also correlated with skeletal muscle strength as measured by MRC scale and functional evaluation as ALSFRSr and FVC values. Psychopathological features, including suicidial ideation, were more frequent in the recently diagnosed ALS patients. These features were observed to be different according to the kind of functional impairment. Rorschach test may be an useful tool to assess psychopathological features in ALS. Results of our study highlight the need of an early psychopathological diagnosis and specific psychotherapeutic treatment in patients with ALS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)735-740
Number of pages6
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Psychology
  • Psychopathology
  • Rorschach
  • Suicidal ideation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology


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