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We have studied 10 Huntington's disease (HD) outpatients to investigate the relationship between chorea and the psychiatric manifestations of this disease. We used neuropsy-chological tests sensitive to memory and diffuse cerebral dysfunction and a new, simple, objective test of chorea to study the relationship between chorea and dementia. Using SADS/DSM-III diagnoses, we replicated previous findings of the high prevalence of psychiatric disorders associated with HD. A new finding in this study was the strong relationship between the severity of chorea and that of dementia, particularly regarding memory loss. Implications of this finding are discussed in light of the neuroanatomy of the basal ganglia and frontal lobes.
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Received in revised form: November 25, 1986
Received: July 28, 1986The authors thank Rich Ulrich, M.S., for biostatistical assistance and Drs. Stuart Yudofsky and Alwyn Lishman for their critique of the manuscript. Joanne Cobb provided expert secretarial assistance, and Janice McGeary assisted in interrater reliability for the SADS used by the WPIC Depression Prevention staff.
Supported in part by Grant CRC-092 WPIC 0733 from the Research Committee of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic.
This paper was presented at a poster session for the 1986 Society of Biological Psychiatry meeting in Washington, D.C.
© 1987 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc.