Research Article| Volume 22, ISSUE 6, P751-761, June 1987

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Huntington's disease: Correlations of mental status with chorea

  • Mark Webb
    Address reprint requests to Dr. R. Mark Webb, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, 3811 O'Hara Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213.
    From the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA USA
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  • Paula T. Trzepacz
    From the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA USA
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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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