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Understanding the psychiatric prodrome of Huntington Disease

Posted by iskanbasal on September 1, 2007

At my last test in clinica neurologica, at the oral session, I was questioned about the genetic disease, Huntington Disease aka Huntington Chorea (HD); the prof wanted to know first about the mode the disease is inherited and the genetic defect that underlie it. Then he moved to ask me about the clinical features of HD. It was somewhat easy to describe the movement disorder : chorea, it is also included in the disease name itself; I also watched a video presentation from the UTAH school of medicine about gait abnormalities in which the abnormal choreic gait is very striking, this it is here.

Then the description of the cognitive decline or dementia, but this as I know appear in the advanced disease. What was somewhat difficult to explain were the psychiatric manifestations in HD, I called them personality disorders when they appear in the early phase of the disease, it was ok. However here is an editorial and an article from the J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry 2007 ; 78:913.

Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry 2007;78:913; doi:10.1136/jnnp.2006.112565

which describe an interesting paper on the:

Understanding the psychiatric prodrome of Huntington disease.

“This third feature is especially difficult to characterise, particularly in trying to distinguish emotional symptoms which may be reactive in nature from those which are an essential neuropsychiatric aspect of the disease”.

“The implication is that, while the course of HD may be punctuated by episodes of syndromal psychiatric disturbances, such as major depression, there are also chronic changes, such as irritability or apathy, which must not be shoehorned into existing diagnostic categories”.

it ends describing the paper as an interesting quantitative research in this field. Yet, I have to read the original paper indicated in the above editorial.

(escuse me my english errors).

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One Response to “Understanding the psychiatric prodrome of Huntington Disease”

  1. […] posted below about this disease, it was an article to elucidate the psychiatric manifeatations of the HD. this article is discussing HD-like syndromes. I remember only a case of […]

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